Robot assisted laparoscopic surgery

A three-year project in collaboration with Healthe Care Australia.

Robotically-assisted surgery was developed to overcome the limitations of pre-existing minimally-invasive surgical procedures.

The da Vinci Surgical System is a robotic surgical system made by the American company, Intuitive Surgical. Since 2003, there have been over 33,000 da Vinci procedures performed in Australia.  

Robot assisted laparoscopic surgery (RALS), with its superior 3D immersive visualisation and ergonomics, motion scaling and tremor filtration is believed to be more comfortable for surgeons that traditional laparoscopic surgery (TLS), as RALS is thought to reduce ergonomic strain and fatigue. The three-year project is a collaboration between Swinburne and Healthe Care Australia, a leading pan-Asian healthcare services group.

The main purpose of the project is to use motion capture technologies in simulated environments to fully model, analyse and compare a surgeon’s ergonomics during both RALS and TLS. This will be used to quantify any ergonomic benefits and set guidelines for improving the ergonomics of both RALS and TLS procedures. The simulated Da Vinci environment will be provided by Device Technologies.

Laparoscopic surgeon Chris Hensman, who initiated the project, will work with Swinburne lead investigators Professor Romesh Nagarajah, Dr Mats Isaksson and Dr John McCormick to evaluate the ergonomic benefits of RALS versus TLS. The team will also investigate whether the surgical robot interface can be improved. In addition, the research will investigate the possibility of completely digitizing an entire surgical procedure for potential use in virtual reality applications for teaching, marketing and further ergonomic analysis.

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