Robot surgery: World’s first blood vessel stitch by da Vinci robot

A hospital in southwest China has successfully performed tumor surgery on a patient with pancreatic cancer, with the assistance of a robot.

57-year-old Chuan Yajuan became the first in the world to have an artificial blood vessel reconstructed and stitched by a da Vinci robot.

She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at Xi’nan Hospital in southwest China’s city of Chongqing.

During the surgery on Dec. 12, the robot, controlled by a doctor, found the portal vein connected to the pancreas, which was also cancerous and needed to be removed.

The most difficult part of the operation was replacing the portal vein with an artificial vessel without causing massive hemorrhage

“In the past, the patient’s abdomen had to be opened for such an operation. But the robot only left a few needle holes, which is good for recovery.”

After precise calculation by the robot, the doctor inserted one robotic arm through a small hole on the patient’s abdomen to hold the artificial vessel steady while operating another arm to stitch it with a surgical needle.

“How long do you think you will get out of bed?”
“I guess about a week. I’ll be able to walk again in about a week.”

The hospital says the surgery is the world’s first artificial blood vessel reconstruction involving the robotic device.

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