Medical experts manipulate remote robot to carry out surgical operations. Photo by Zhao Yajun
By Chen Xiaojing and Zhang Mi
BEIJING, Feb. 1 -- Recently, Professor Du Xiaohui, director of General Surgery Department with the First Medical Centerof the Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital (PLAGH), leading his team, utilized a robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery system to remotely control a surgical robot arm more than 3,000 kilometers away in real time, and successfully performed a radical rectal cancer surgery for a family member of a naval service member.
The successful implementation of this operation marks the first case in the field of remote gastrointestinal tumor surgery within the Chinese military. The operation lasted for 90 minutes, and the postoperative 3D high-definition image and data feedback from the remote robot showed that the tumor has been completely removed.
It is learnt that PLAGH has been dedicated to developing the remote surgical operating system in recent years. Before this operation, it had completed multiple times of complex urological surgeries remotely by controlling the patient-side robot in real-time, accumulating extensive clinical experience. On this basis, Professor Du Xiaohui's team further broke through more technical challenges in this operation and enhanced the stability and precision of remote surgery.
The successful implementation of this operation also signifies the dual enhancement of telemedicine technology and equipment in general surgery within the Chinese military, which will provide a strong guarantee for remote surgeries in the fields of minimally invasive surgery, abdominal trauma in the battlefield environment, complex and difficult abdominal diseases, etc.
For the troops at the grassroots level, the realization of remote surgery is equivalent to having a surgeon available around the clock, who can offer 24-hour remote surgical guidance without geographical constraints, and provide precise surgical treatment for local residents besides military personnel and their families.