The telerobotic daVinci® surgical system from Intuitive Surgical features a console for surgeons, a patient-side cart with robotic arms, endoscopic instruments and a 3-D vision system. The latest system uses PURAVIS® glass fibers from SCHOTT to illuminate surgical areas (left). Photo: Intuitive Surgical
A guiding light for surgeons
SCHOTT’s glass optical fibers and lighting systems are helpful in many different contexts – among them such vital fields as minimally invasive surgery.
In the 1970s robots were thought to replace mankind in the near future. Contemporary movies featured robotic droids that looked and acted like humans. Today, in 2014, we do have robots to help us with our everyday lives. But in most cases they neither look like us nor are they really designed to be a replacement. Instead, many of them are developed as computer-assisted systems that complement professional tasks we must perform ourselves.
Photo: SCHOTT/H. Fischer
operations such as removing the spleen, the appendix or cancer tissue. In contrast to ”ordinary” surgeries, minimally invasive surgery usually involves only a few incisions for a camera, illumination, scalpels and other instruments on endoscopes. Yet, although so-called ”laparoscopic” techniques boomed for relatively simple operations during the 1980s and 1990s, minimally invasive surgery was long thought to be too risky for more complicated procedures.
This has changed since the American company Intuitive Surgical introduced telerobotic surgery. Their daVinci® surgical system consists of a console that allows the surgeon to be comfortably seated while operating, a patient-side cart with three or four robotic arms, several endoscopic instruments and a 3-D-vision system. All of the surgeon’s hand movements are translated into smaller and more precise movements of tiny instruments such as scalpels, scissors or needle holders that are fixed to the system arms, which are able to rotate far more than the human wrist while under visual view and control of the surgeon.
PURAVIS® fibers guarantee transmission of white light across great distances directly into the patient’s body. Photo: Intuitive Surgical
Founded in 1995, Intuitive Surgical has become the market leader in computer-assisted systems. Their daVinci® system is clearly the most advanced and most installed tele robotic surgery system available. The 3-D-visualization system offers surgeons a continuously updated in-depth view of the operation field, helping them to work with the highest precision possible.
The eco-friendly optical glass fibers PURAVIS® from SCHOTT are strong and can withstand more sterilization processes than conventional fibers.
Photo: SCHOTT/C. Costard
With lighting solutions and robotic surgical systems becoming ever more sophisticated, Hanuschik believes that robotic surgery will soon become the standard of care for many more complex operations. ”The future of minimally invasive operations lies in robotic surgery,” Hanuschik says. ”Physicians worldwide have used the daVinci® System successfully in approximately 1.5 million surgical procedures to date. Among them are renowned clinics such as New York University Medical Center, USC University Hospital in Los Angeles, and hundreds more. We will continue to improve it, thus changing the surgical experience for people all around the world.” <
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