China Just Completed Its First Successful Robotic Surgery

A hospital located in Anhui, China just performed its first successful robotic surgery on a patient suffering from numbness in his legs and left hand.

The patient, only identified as 42-year-old Wang, underwent the historical surgery at the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University on January 3. The entire operation only lasted half an hour, with a wound mark of only 1 centimeter, according to China Daily.

This amazing feat was made possible thanks to the world’s first and only orthopedic robotic system called Tinavi — or Tianji in Chinese — that cost 15 million yuan ($2.31 million) to build.

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The system is capable of carrying out surgical procedures on the extremities of the patient as well as pelvic fractures, and operations on the whole spinal segment (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral vertebrae).

Typically, surgeries similar to what Wang had gone through would require two to three weeks of recovery due to the possibility of extensive bleeding, but the patient was able to get up from bed the day after the operation and is expected to recover within a week.

Tianji, which acted as an assistant to the doctors, provided surgeons comprehensive surgical blueprints for spine and trauma procedures using its multimodality imaging. The robot can also carry out real-time tracking that enables it to precisely position on the bones.

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Using its optical tracking system, Tianji was able to perform 3-D scanning and monitor the entire operation. The robot’s arm, meanwhile, increases the surgical paths and planned trajectories.

This year has opened up a lot of firsts for China. The country made its first-ever soft landing on the dark side of the moon with its Chang’e 4 lunar spacecraft and released its first pictures taken from the uncharted side of the moon.

Images via China Daily

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