How does robotic surgery work – Is robotic surgery minimally invasive?


How to do robotic surgery? The so-called robotic surgery is not like a science fiction movie completely by a robot instead of a real person to complete the surgery, it is actually a robotic system consisting of a mechanical arm, optical tracking system, manipulation platform. When the surgery is performed, the surgeon does not have direct contact with the patient, but operates and controls it through the optical tracking system and the movement calibration system, and the robotic arm as well as the surgical instruments simulate the completion of the surgeon’s technical movements and surgical operations.

Robotic Surgery System

Robotic surgery operation steps:

  1. Image Acquisition

The doctor uses the 3D C-arm to take a picture of the patient’s lesion.

  1. Image transmission

The robot “brain” automatically receives the film and displays it on the screen.

  1. Program development

The doctor formulates a surgical plan based on the film.

  1. Automatic localization

Under the real-time observation of the robot’s “eye”, the robot’s “arm” leads the doctor to the exact location.

  1. Execution of surgery

The doctor carries out the surgery through the robot’s “arm”.

  1. Successful Surgery

Is robotic surgery minimally invasive?

Robotic surgery and minimally invasive surgery are two different concepts. The robot is only an aid to accurate positioning, and whether the surgery is minimally invasive depends on the surgery itself. For example, robotic-assisted minimally invasive percutaneous lumbar fusion (MIS-TLIF) is naturally minimally invasive; whereas robotic-assisted orthopedic internal fixation for scoliosis, which cannot be minimally invasive, is naturally open surgery.

Compared with traditional surgery, robotic surgery has the following characteristics:

  1. Small surgical incision. Traditional open surgery requires exposing the visible field of view of the surgery so that the surgeon can obtain more judgmental information, which results in a large surgical incision and a long postoperative recovery time. In PL300B orthopedic surgery robot-assisted surgery, the surgical incision is only a small incision of about 1~2 centimeters, which is less traumatic and quicker recovery.
  2. Clear surgical vision. The surgical field of view seen by the operator through the console is enlarged by 10-15 times than the actual one, which can distinguish the anatomical structure of the spine more clearly and complete more delicate anatomy and operation;
  3. Accurate positioning. Equipped with a high-precision optical tracking system and robotic arm, Perlove’s PL300B orthopedic surgical robot guides the surgeon in surgical planning based on 3D image data and utilizes surgical planning software to assist in the positioning of implants or surgical instruments, with an accuracy of sub-millimeter level.

In addition, the robotic surgical system also has certain thinking ability, such as planning ability, the robot can pre-design the trajectory of the movement of the robot arm and submit it to the operator to determine whether it is accurate and feasible; for example, the ability to correct errors, when the robot’s vision system collects information and finds that the robot arm does not operate according to the established trajectory of the running operation, it will alarm or stop the operation in a timely manner.


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