The surgery marks the first time that a robot surgeon and a robot anesthesiologist have collaborated to operate on a human.
Specialists from McGill University used a surgical robot they named “DaVinci”, which lets surgeons work from remote locations and an anesthesia robot nicknamed “McSleepy”, itself the world’s first robot for putting people to sleep for surgery. The two robots collaborated for the first time ever in a groundbreaking surgery, performed at Montreal General Hospital. The doctors said the exercise was inevitable, since medical robots have proven themselves to be more precise and safer than human surgeons.
“Collaboration between DaVinci and McSleepy, seemed an obvious fit; robots in medicine can provide health care of higher safety and precision, thus ultimately improving outcomes,” said Dr. TM Hemmerling of McGill University and MUHC’s Department of Anesthesia, who is also a neuroscience researcher at the Research Institute (RI) of the MUHC
DaVinci allowed surgeons to work from a remote workstation operating surgical instruments with delicate movements of their fingers with extremely accurate precision. McSleepy helped to create the perfect conditions needed for robotic surgery by helping with the appropriate positioning, level of muscle relaxation and monitoring of the patient’s breathing rate, vital signs, heart rate and oxygen saturation.
The success of this surgery makes it likely that DaVinci and McSleepy will team up again. The researchers plan to test robotic surgery and robotic anesthesia across a variety of surgeries and patients.