Children’s Lifesaver: This Surgical Robot Removes Brain Tumors

By: | September 30th, 2023

Robot assisted surgery (Image by Wikimedia Commons)

Experts have designed an innovative surgical robot for removing brain tumors in children, featuring distinctive hollow arms.

Engineer Pierre Dupont, the Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Bioengineering at Boston Children’s Hospital, spearheaded the development of this cutting-edge robot. This specialized robot exhibits the agility required to perform delicate brain tumor removal procedures in the small skulls of pediatric patients.

Enhanced Precision and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Robotic brain surgery offers distinct advantages, including enhanced precision and stability during procedures. These robots can compensate for surgeons’ natural hand tremors, ensuring greater accuracy in delicate operations.

Neurosurgical robots are designed for minimally invasive procedures, eliminating the need for extensive craniotomies by accessing the brain through small incisions and specialized tools. This approach results in shorter recovery times as well as reduced complications.

“Right now, 90% of surgeries are performed as open surgery. You’re viewing through a microscope, pushing the healthy brain aside to reach the affected area. In endoscopic procedures, it’s a one-handed, one-tool type of removal,” said DuPont. “With robotic surgery, you have the best of both worlds: the use of both arms for open surgery and a variety of tools, all while minimizing invasiveness.”

Commercialization and the Future

Now, a team of MBA students from Babson College, is exploring ways to commercialize this technology. However, they have indicated that it’s too early for strategic investors to get involved. Additionally, device manufacturers have expressed interest in the robot but prefer it to undergo initial human trials before considering adoption.

It’s essential to recognize that Robotic-assisted brain surgery has advantages but can’t replace skilled surgical teams. Surgeons remain a vital part of every surgery, overseeing the robotic system and making critical decisions throughout the procedure. Robots are intended to complement and enhance human capabilities.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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