Medical Robotics Magazine

The first and only commercial feature medical robotics news magazine, founded February 2007 by John J. Otrompke, JD, consultant and publisher


Medical Robotics Magazine is the world's first and only commercial feature news magazine devoted to all aspect of the medical robotics industry- including robotic surgery, physical therapy robots, hospital orderlies, and other topics related to robotic medicine. As a feature magazine, Medical Robotics features interviews, business news, conference coverage and editorials, as well as a generous portion of articles written by noteworthy robotics surgeons as well as clinical trials reports. MR has been on-line since 2007, and first appeared in print in January of 2008 at the annual meeting of MIRA (the Minimally Invasive Robotics Association) in Rome, Italy. Medical Robotics Magazine is copyrighted, features a nascent Board of Editorial Advisors, and is indexed by the U.S. Library of Congress. All contents (c) 2011 John J. Otrompke, JD Contact: John J. Otrompke, JD 646-730-0179

Monday, July 23, 2007

Small Companies May Add to Da Vinci’s Efficacy

Small Companies May Add to Da Vinci’s Efficacy

By John J. Otrompke, JD July 19, 2007

A prominent medical robotics researcher in the Midwest has discovered a manner in which miniature, developmental surgical robotics can contribute to the use of the Da Vinci surgical robot, according to an oral presentation at this year’s meeting of the Minimally Invasive Robotics Association (MIRA) in New York in January.

“Recently we performed a Da Vinci procedure on an animal, and we put the device in for an extra pair of eyes. Its harder to do with the Da Vinci, because its hard to move around,” said Dmitry Oleynikov, MD, assistant professor of surgery and director of minimally invasive and robotic surgery at the University of Nebraska.

Olehnikov said his experiment showed that his miniature robot provided an added benefit in concert with the Da Vinci.

“Our device allows a surgeon to place a remote device inside the body cavity and to be able to drive on the inside, and see on the inside, as well as to manipulate and actually perform surgery on the inside, all without having giant gears or things reaching from the outside,” said Oleynikov, who has been working on his device for about three years.

“You can put it through a belly button incision or through a natural orifice opening. Imagine if you want to remove a gall bladder; you can use an endoscope, and go through the stomach. But you can always get one endoscope through, and can have many little robots with separate tasks. They can act as eyes and little assistants. Then you can use the endoscope to cut or remove the debris through the stomach,” said Oleynikov, who added that the smallest version of his robot is about 1 ½ inches long, ten millimeters wide, or about the size of a lipstick case.

“The stomach has very few pain fibers, and as a result, patients don’t feel any pain when they wake up. This phenomenon has been investigated by other physicians using the endoscope alone, but the problem is that the endoscope is only one tool, and it is hard to get more than one endoscope in,’ he said.

“But the robots are not necessarily connected to the endoscope. They can be operated by remote control as well as well a little skinny wire tether, which operates them, and give them a little energy supply,” said Oleynikov.

Smaller models may add to the Da Vinci’s core competencies, as the device is not ideally suited for natural orifice surgery, but is better suited for laparoscopic surgery, he said.

The robot is a collaborative effort of the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. The faculty leaders of the project are Dr. Oleynikov and Dr. Shane Farritor, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering from the University.

For the next year, Oleynikov and colleagues are planning a new generation of robots for natural orifice applications. Reports will be presented at the next MIRA meeting.

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