JHMI Office of Communications and Public Affairs

October 5, 2000
PHONE: (410) 955-1534
E-MAIL: kinfeld@jhmi.edu

"Robotic" Surgeries Being Performed at Hopkins

–Mechanical arms enable tiny movements in minimally invasive procedures

Hopkins is one of only a handful of medical centers (and the only one in this region) to perform laparoscopic "robotic" surgeries for general abdominal procedures such as gallbladder removal and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux, or heartburn. Surgeons hope to expand use of the technology for other minimally invasive surgeries, including gynecological and cardiac procedures.

Surgery with such devices only recently was approved for use in the United States by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, although systems have been used in Europe during the last few years.

With the robotic system, the surgeon is remote from the patient, working a few feet from the operating table while seated at a console with a three-dimensional view of the operating field. The physician operates via two mechanical arms with hand-like movements, which carry out the surgery through tiny holes in the patient’s abdomen. The arms eliminate any hand tremor by the surgeon and offer motion scaling – allowing extremely precise movements within the patient.

"In the past 10 years, there’s been a revolution in surgery heading toward more and more procedures being done minimally invasively," says Mark A. Talamini, M.D., an associate professor of surgery who is one of the first to use the system at Hopkins. "This is the next big leap in technology. It will allow us to do very complex operations better and more safely."

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MEDIA:  To view a procedure or interview Talamini, contact Karen Infeld at 410-955-1534 or kinfeld@jhmi.edu.


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