A novel robotic system for single-port laparoscopic surgery: preliminary experience
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- Petroni, G., Niccolini, M., Caccavaro, S. et al. Surg Endosc (2013) 27: 1932. doi:10.1007/s00464-012-2690-9
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The concept of single-access procedures has gained greater attention from general surgeons during the past 5 years. Despite this wide momentum, these procedures pose several changes for the surgeon, such as impaired eye-hand coordination and restricted manipulation. In this context, robotic-assisted surgery represents a promising technology to enhance the dexterity of laparoscopic surgeons.
A novel teleoperated robotic system for minimally invasive surgery (MIS) called SPRINT (Single-Port lapaRoscopy bImaNual roboT) has been developed. SPRINT is a master-slave robotic platform designed for bimanual interventions through a single-access port. The system is basically composed by two main arms having a maximum diameter of 18 mm and a stereoscopic-camera (Karl-Storz, Tuttlingen, Germany). The arms may be inserted into a cylindrical introducer that has a maximum diameter of 30 mm. The surgeon console is composed of two master manipulators, a foot-switch, and a 3D full-HD display.
In an animal study, a small-bowel enteroenterostomy and the ligation of a mesenteric vessel bundle have been performed. As preliminary experience, the system has been placed within the peritoneal cavity through an incision of approximately 10 cm: the robot has been suspended in an open fashion, due to some mechanical constraints of the current prototype. The procedures have been performed in an authorized laboratory on a female pig of approximately 50 Kg.
Two typical surgical maneuvers have been performed successfully with the SPRINT surgical platform: an intestinal anastomosis and a vessel ligation. Moreover, the speed, precision, and force with which the SPRINT robot executed the commands by the surgeon controlling the master console have been subjectively described as adequate to the tasks. Based on this preliminary demonstration, bimanual robot solutions, such as the SPRINT robot, may offer more dexterity and precision to single-port techniques in the next future.