Robotic and human surgeons rejoice! A robotic "wrist" has been developed by engineers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. The wrist, measuring at 2mm in diameter will allow surgeons to perform a minimally invasive procedure called needlescopic surgery, or microsurgery. Needlescopic surgery uses instruments that are the size of a sewing needle (clever right?) in incisions that are 5-10mm long.

Robert Webster, the head of the Vanderbilt team is developing a robot to use in needlescopic surgery, which a surgeon would then operate remotely. This latest advancement in solves what was previously a problem in microsurgery: inarticulation. Previous devices used in needlescopic surgery were unable to articulate, making it difficult to cut or remove tissue, and instead either heated-up wire or a ring was used like much like a saw to remove tissue.

Currently the team is now developing a user interface and control software for the wrist, and plan to test it first in transnasal brain surgery. Webster is hoping to find a commercial partner to develop the robot further, and to help take it through the FDA approval process which should take approximately five years before it reaches the public. 


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facts about robotic Surgery:

 Robotic surgeries are becoming more commonplace. Between 2007 and 2013, 1.7 million robotic procedures have been performed.

 Robotic surgery resulted in less additional treatments for cancer patients.