Atrium Health surgeons demonstrate use of robots in surgery on jack-o-lantern

Updated: Oct. 25, 2019 at 3:35 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Surgeons with Atrium Health are using robots to help them be more accurate and less invasive in surgery.

A group of surgeons demonstrated how the robotic technology helps them by using a jack-o-lantern as a patient. They said to envision the seeds inside the jack-o-lantern as a tumor that needs to be removed.

“It’s much more accurate, takes away the tremors, you can suture with much thinner sutures, as thin as a human hair,” General Surgeon Vedra Augenstein said.

Surgeons are still controlling the movements of the robots. The robot mimics what their hands do. They sit at a console that’s designed to prevent fatigue and unintended movements of the robotic arms.

Dr. Augenstein says it allows them to perform surgeries they wouldn’t be able to do without a more invasive surgery.

“The patient would have to have very large incisions and wound complications, and take a lot of pain medicine,” Dr. Augenstein said. “So what we’re trying to do here is minimize all of that and get patients home sooner with much small incisions.”

Dr. Augenstein says its not uncommon for surgeons to practice with the robot by using pumpkins or even chicken as a patient.

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