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Commentary |

Technology in the Operating Suite

Mark A. Talamini, MD; Eric J. Hanly, MD
JAMA. 2005;293(7):863-866. doi:10.1001/jama.293.7.863.
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The advantages of the technology revolution can be seen and felt in virtually every arena of modern life. Computer microchips now organize the vital events occurring within the basic mechanisms of automobiles, children match their fingers’ reflexes, dance steps, and wits against virtual entities on video screens, and interactions with business colleagues, friends, and family occur electronically at any distance almost instantly. Until recently, the surgical teams in most operating rooms were using tools and techniques little different from those used decades ago. However, that is changing rapidly, and innovation is now invading the operating suite.1

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Figure. A Surgical Robotic System and Comparison of Degrees of Freedom of Conventional Laparoscopic and Robotic Instruments
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A, Layout of the major components of a robotic surgery system. The surgical manipulator (inset) has 3 or 4 arms, 2 or 3 that move surgical instruments and an additional arm with a stereotelescope that transmits 2 independent images of the operative site. At the console (inset), the surgeon looks through a binocular eyepiece to view a magnified, high-resolution, 3-dimensional image of the operative site transmitted via the stereotelescope. The surgeon controls the surgical instruments with the surgical masters (inset). B, Robotic instruments have 6 degrees of freedom of movement, similar to that of the human wrist and arm. In comparison, laparoscopic instruments have only 4 degrees of freedom of movement (based on an original concept by Cory Sandone).

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