Researchers at the University of Oxford have successfully conducted the first trial of robotic eye surgery at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, with the permission and support of the National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre. Details of the surgery have published in this week’s Nature Biomedical Engineering, it claimed that it involved 12 patients.
It was a robot-assisted surgery as the other half part of removing a membrane from back of the eye has conducted manually. Surgeons performed rest of procedures more accurately than the traditional method. In the end, in the second phase, they employed robots to insert a needle under retina of three patients to dissolve blood. These patients were suffering from macular degeneration caused due to their age. These patients have experienced better eye-sights after the operation.
In 2016, Preceyes BV and Oxford University had an agreement for this trail and conduction of many robotic surgeries. Robert MacLaren was the team lead during the whole procedure.
Regarding the operation, professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford, Robert MacLaren said that this is a huge success as it was a delicate and difficult surgery. This success will improve quality and safety of these operations in near future. This trial has proved the possibility to use robots by widening boundaries for its applications in multiple sectors.
Now, safer gene therapy and manufacture of robotic surgical device precisely to conduct operations by the end of 2019 will be their primary aim, he added.
Marc D de Smet, Chief Medical Officer of Preceyes BV said, the trail just proved safety and precision of current working model of the robot. Trail proved accuracy and stability of robot. More exploration of these robots will push the boundaries of the safety of existing surgeries.
It was a retinal surgery which involved separation of epiretinal membrane form limiting membrane situated over macula and dose of the therapeutic drug to be provided under the retina. Macula is the central region for which is responsible for eye-sight.