Robots are taking over the world of surgery day by day. Alone in the U.S 570,000 surgeries through robots were performed in the year 2014. All of the departments are getting their specific technology made so they can benefit from it. Eye surgery is also leaping forward and they are developing robots that are revolutionizing how we go about eye surgeries.
Surgeons all over the world are always looking forward to innovations. When da Vinci robotic surgeries first came to the scene it blew everything away. Robots are now entering the world of eye surgery. They are presented with a 3D view of the eye via a microscope. An extremely trained surgeon who is extensively trained in the ways of this machine is required. Because the slightest of mistakes can result in vision loss. Robots allow them to do access to the places which are difficult to reach and provide the much needed stability that a human hand simply cannot fathom.

Past of Robotic Eye Surgery:
In the past robots were used to carry out a single task or play a second fiddle to the surgeons they were not as advanced as they are now in the present age. The earliest attempt was made in France dating back to the 1980s that aided in the surgery by allowing 3D movement and the hand could rotate up to 4 degrees to avoid any tissue damage. The scientists developed a steady hand manipulator that was pressure sensitive. There was a tool that allowed for better hand eye coordination and there were 52% fewer errors, because it removed uncontrolled tremors. All of these aid in the process of surgery but they made the duration of surgery longer.

Present of Robots in Eye Surgery:
The research has not come to an impasse still a lot of new technology is being introduced. Over the years the process has become faster and a little cumbersome. A 70 year old man in the UK was treated with the help of robots, this could have been done through the hand too but the precision required was immense. So, as we know the eye consists of membranes, the doctors made a small and precise incision was made in the eye with the help of a thin needle and removing a membrane that was microscopic. This was the first of its kind operation which relied on the robots. The doctors said I was relaxed during the surgery I could even let go and the robot would hold its position. A device like da Vinci is under testing stages that will allow the surgeons to perform lens capsulorhexis in cataract surgery and retinal vein microcannulation. All this can be done remotely after it passes the initial tests.

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Future of Robots in Eye Surgery:
A lot of new techniques are being tested and tried and the future of robotic surgeries looks solid. When paired up with laser surgery the robotic surgeries could prove a useful combination. The aim is to make the process faster without losing any precision and credibility. LASIK surgery is becoming fully automated and require little to no human help. All these procedures can help greatly in preserving the most precious gift of the human body the ability of sight.

Advantages of Robotic Eye Surgery:

  • Robotic surgery gives you far greater precision and accuracy as compared to conventional methods.
  • It allows a greater area to work for surgeons due to its design. They can easily work around difficult areas and can operate on areas that were hard to reach before.
  • Humans can make mistakes as sometimes the hand is not stable enough, but it doesn’t happen with robots as it holds its place.
  • As it involves computers, it can be accessed remotely giving rise to the option of teleoperation.

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Disadvantages of Robotic Eye Surgery:

  • As the equipment is not very common so it costs a lot to buy this equipment and it doesn’t stop there the maintenance of these machines is also very costly.
  • A lot of man-hours go into learning these machines, only the people who are trained extensively can be allowed to use these machines.
  • They can malfunction at any given point as they are only a mechanical component.
  • As the technology is relatively new the data collected from them can be shady and it can lead to poor decision making during a critical situation.

All these advancements in robotics are revolutionizing the way we deal with eye surgeries. Are you excited about what the future holds? The sense of vision is one of the most important senses and if these processes can help in preserving it we should be more open towards them.


Written by…

M. Ahmad Zia

M. Ahmad Zia is a technology entrepreneur and a researcher in healthcare technology. Click the link below to get in touch with him.

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