A revolutionary move in the history of eye surgery had been made by British surgeons by carrying out world’s first inside the robotic Eye surgery. The patient is a 70-year-old priest at St Mary The Virgin Church in Oxford.The procedure was carried out by surgeons at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital. The robotic eye surgery trial involved 12 patients who were undergoing operations with increasing complexity.
On completion of the operation, Professor Robert MacLaren said: “We have just witnessed a vision of eye surgery in the future. Current technology with laser scanners and microscopes allows us to monitor retinal diseases at the microscopic level, but the things we see are beyond the physiological limit of what the human hand can operate on. With a robotic system, we open up a whole new chapter of eye operations that currently cannot be performed.”
Priest William Beaver stated his eyesight was returning after the whole operating procedure was done, having previously experienced distorted vision similar to “looking in a hall of mirrors at a fairground”.
The procedure was also very necessary because the patient had a membrane growing on the surface of his retina, which had contracted and pulled it into an uneven shape.
How does Robotic Eye Surgery Performed?
Surgeons usually perform this kind of surgery by slowing their pulse and timing movements between heart beats, but the robot could make it much easier by enabling new, high-precision procedures that are beyond the abilities of the human hand.
The membrane was about 100th of a millimeter thick and needed to be dissected off the retina without damaging it. The surgeons made use of a joystick and touch screen outside the eye to control the robot while monitoring its progress through the operating microscope. This gave them an extra hand as significant movements of the joystick resulted in tiny movements of the robot.
This was the first time in the history of eye surgery that a device has been available that achieves the three-dimensional precision required to operate inside the human eye. Experts said this procedure can further be expanded in retinal gene therapy, a new treatment for blindness which is currently being practiced in a number of hospitals around the world.