Hexapods: Micro-precision Surgical Assistant for Minimal Invasive Surgery
Minimal Invasive Surgery or (MIS) is one such important innovation in medical devices to present. There are many benefits that can be derived from a MIS procedure such as: smaller incision, smaller scar, reduced risk of infection and bleeding, less pain and trauma, and decreased length of hospital stay for recovery time.
The product shown below is called Spine Assist. It is an example of a minimal invasive surgical device designed for spine-related surgery.
“With the SpineAssist a spinal fusion intervention can be performed with only a couple small incisions compared to open surgery where a large incision potentially causes more muscle damage. The miniature size of the robot with no need for “line of sight” and its high accuracy simplifies the surgical procedure and minimizes the risk for screw misplacement. Since the robot is rigidly attached to the patient there is no need for a tracking coordinate system. The procedure using the SpineAssist only requires a few fluoroscopic images, adding reduced radiation exposure for the surgeon and the patient as an important benefit to the system.” -Faulhaber Miniature Hexapods
The software interface shown above provides the surgeon with pre-surgical planning with automatic fluoroscopic and CT image processing. Intervention, according to the Faulhaber website, using the SpineAssist consists of five steps namely: preoperative planning based on a CT scan of the patient’s spine; rigid fixation of the SpineAssist platform to the patient’s spine; positioning calibration by matching a fluoroscopic image of the bone mounted platform to the CT-image from the preoperative plan; rigid mounting of the SpineAssist robot to the platform; the robot guide arm is now ready to automatically position itself at the exact location according to the preoperative plan and serve as a guiding tool when the surgeon drills or performs some other intervention on the bone.
The image above shows a mounted SpineAssist platform during a surgical procedure. To present, this system has been used over 250 cases in hospitals all over the world. What robots can do… :D