Robot carries out operation by itself

May 19, 2006

For the first time, a robot surgeon in Italy has carried out a long-distance heart operation by itself.

"This operation has enabled us to cross a new frontier," said Carlo Pappone, who initiated and monitored the surgery on a PC in Boston, ANSA reported. Pappone is head of Arrhythmia and Cardiac Electrophysiology at Milan's San Raffaele University.

The 50-minute surgery, which took place in a Milan hospital, was carried out on a 34-year-old patient suffering from atrial fibrillation. Dozens of heart specialists attending an international congress on arrhythmia in Boston also watched.

Pappone has used the robot surgeon in at least 40 operations.

"It has learned to do the job thanks to experience gathered from operations on 10,000 patients," Pappone said, pointing out that the robot carries the expertise of several human surgeons used to boost its software.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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