Hong Kong’s Chinese language College efficiently completes medical trials of ‘single-port’ robotic arm for surgical procedure – and sufferers discover system a lower above as nicely
She was identified with nasopharyngeal most cancers in 2005. Then she suffered a stroke. In July 2017, a malignant tumour was discovered beneath her tongue because of the radiotherapy therapy for her earlier most cancers.
As soon as extra Cheng was compelled to go beneath the knife.
“I believed to myself on the time: I used to be practically 80, had undergone so many surgical procedures already, and suffered from most cancers and a stroke. I used to be actually on the fence on this one,” she mentioned.
That was when Cheng, now 78, was informed she had an opportunity to be one of many few sufferers on this planet to bear minimally invasive surgical procedure with a brand new “single-port” robotic system as a part of medical trials at Chinese language College’s college of drugs.
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The one-year feasibility and security trial between 2016 and 2017 – on 63 sufferers present process head and neck, urology or colorectal surgical procedure – was efficiently accomplished with out issues. Cheng was one in all these sufferers.
“The robotic arm of the brand new system permits actually minimally invasive entry to beforehand extra difficult-to-access websites,” mentioned Dr Jason Chan King-yuen, assistant professor of otorhinolaryngology on the college.
With a single-port system, a robotic arm carrying simply three devices and a high-definition 3D digicam enters the physique via one web site, requiring a a lot smaller incision.
Earlier “multi-port” programs had been clunky and space-consuming. The four-arm system didn’t work nicely for extra difficult procedures in slender areas, and the arms had an inclination to intrude with each other. Not less than 4 completely different keyhole incisions needed to be made.
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“We consider the advance within the know-how presents a platform on which surgeons can develop novel approaches to dealing with instances, with minimal invasiveness, to facilitate affected person restoration and minimise morbidity,” Chan added.
Alex Chuk, 60, additionally agreed to be a part of the trial after a cancerous tumour was discovered simply above his colon and needed to be eliminated.
“They informed me robotic surgical procedure can be extra exact and promote higher restoration. I used to be fairly shocked and glad this feature was obtainable,” he mentioned. “However my first impression was of some sort of android doing the operation. I had no clue.”
Chuk was capable of cease taking painkillers the night time after surgical procedure and left hospital in a little bit over per week. The 4cm scar above his stomach button is barely seen.
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Minimally invasive surgical procedures goal to minimise the scale of incisions to assist cut back sufferers’ trauma and ache, enabling faster restoration and reducing the danger of an infection. They’ve been carried out at Prince of Wales Hospital – Chinese language College’s instructing hospital in Sha Tin – since way back to 1990.
Surgeons have been performing them with the assistance of robots since 2005, primarily for removing of gallstones, and tumours of the gastrointestinal tract, adrenal gland and even within the liver.
Whereas multi-port programs are nonetheless getting used, clinicians and researchers on the hospital are hoping for full medical utility of single-port ones quickly.
“Our medical trial outcomes have supplied helpful information for [their] introduction. Definitely the system has lots of potential purposes in different specialities and extra sufferers can profit from the broader use,” mentioned Professor Philip Chiu Wai-yan, director of the college’s Minimally Invasive Surgical Expertise Centre.
The one impediment is price. One US-made da Vinci SP single-port system – the one loaned for the trial – is believed to price HK$30 million to HK$40 million.