FROM THE 14TH INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS AND ENDO EXPO
LAPAROSCOPY UPDATE: FUTURE TECHNOLOGIES COMMITTEE
DMITRY OLEYNIKOV, MD
Laparoscopy has been a tremendous advantage for patients as well as physicians over the past ten years. The new revolution however is even more exciting. It is one of robotics. Today we live in a digital age. Our music is digital, our data is digital. However, the interactions with our patients are still in analog. We look at x-rays that are obtained from conventional radiation sources, and we still have to reach out and physically examine our patients. With the invention of surgical robotics, this is changing. The new devices that are available today are to some extent fantastic as they allow us to perform surgeries across oceans while sitting comfortably in a recliner chair. Surgical systems such as the da Vinci Surgical System and the Zeus Surgical System are pioneers in surgical robotics, but these are only the tip of the iceberg. There are a number of companies that are looking to develop new robotic systems, and several companies are researching robotic endoscopes. Olympus is looking at developing active capsule endoscopy. Our own area of interest is miniature robots and we have created a miniature prototype that is a wireless camera and device that allows us to insert a miniature robot into the abdominal cavity of a patient during a laparoscopy. The device is wirelessly driven through the abdominal cavity while at the same time sending video signals. We are now seeking FDA approval of this device for human use. So far it has been used successfully in the animal model. These and other technologies will revolutionize how we treat our patients and change medicine as radically as laparoscopy did more than ten years ago.
Dr Oleynikov's work with mini-robots has been reported on in the BBC news (http://news.bbc.co.uk; “Dextrous Mini-robots to Aid Ops”); New Scientist (www.newscientist.com; “Robot Set Loose to Film Your Insides”); and MedGadget (www.medgadget.com; “Tiny Robots for Remote Surgery”).
Articles have been published in IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Surgical Innovation, and Journal of Surgical Endoscopy.
www.Laparoscopy.org The Laparoscopic Surgery Information Source