Taiwan gets robot surgeon that performs minimally invasive operations (2019/02/18)

  • 2019-04-18
  • Yinung Chen

Shuang Ho Hospital has a new surgeon, and it's a robot. For the first time anywhere in Asia, a new robot technology called Rosa has been introduced to the operating room to make cuts during spine surgery. Rosa only needs to make tiny incisions to complete its procedures. With help from the robot surgeon, doctors can minimize the risk of nerve damage and dramatically cut patient recovery times.

This 60-year-old patient had suffered excruciating pain in her legs that kept her up at night. But she sleeps soundly now, after receiving lumbar spine stabilization surgery.

Ms. Yang
Patient
The recovery process hasn't been bad. I could get out of bed the following day. Initially I had worried that my nerves would be damaged, but they weren't after the operation.

Traditional spine surgery requires large incisions that cause heavy bleeding. This robot with real-time navigation is a gamechanger that can carry out procedures autonomously and enable extremely precise surgery. It deviates less than 0.2 millimeters from the trajectory mapped out by human surgeons, drastically reducing the size of wounds and the risk of nerve damage.

Lin Chien-min
Shuang Ho Hospital neurosurgeon
Traditionally, surgery on two spinal segments and one intervertebral disc requires an incision of over 10 centimeters. With minimally invasive surgery, the incision is often between 2 and 3 centimeters.

Through 3-D imaging, the robotic arm can assist with screw placement along a planned trajectory in real time. Taiwan is the first country in Asia to adopt the technology, which can accurately perform both spine and brain surgery. The robot has already completed 22 brain surgeries and six spinal surgeries, improving neurosurgical treatment in Taiwan.