A team at the Manchester Royal Infirmary has become the first in the UK to use 3D projections in a surgical operation. The surgeons, led by Dan Burke, were shown an image of a tiny robotic arm on a large 3D screen. The picture then helped them manipulate the arm in order to remove the patient's prostate. Such screen-aided keyhole surgeries aren't uncommon, but the Infirmary said this new system could be cheaper and more accurate than current imaging techniques. When combined with the ultra-flexible arm, it could cut down on injuries or damage during surgery without increasing costs.
While the 3D screen is new for UK surgeons, the robotic arm was used in another recent prostate surgery. Offering greater flexibility than the human wrist and helping to cut down on surgeon fatigue, it's cheaper than other robotic alternatives and could be deployed throughout the health care system after more experimental surgeries have proven its effectiveness. Outside the UK, robots with built-in cameras have also been used to treat things like early-stage stomach cancer.