Brussels hospital uses surgery robot to increase accuracy in operations

The University Hospital Brussels (UZ Brussel) is the first hospital in the Benelux region to use a microsurgery robot, which makes operations up to 20 times more accurate.

Used for surgical operations that require exceptional accuracy, the microsurgery robot using the Symani robotic system reduces the risk of damage and enables faster recovery for patients, according to a statement released by the hospital. The hospital is the first in Belgium, the Netherlands or Luxemburg to successfully perform robot-assisted super microsurgery.

"This technology is an important step in the evolution of super microsurgery to help more patients through better, refined and reliable techniques," said Professor Moustapha Hamdi, head of the Department of Plastic Surgery. He added that using the robot puts the hospital in "an important leadership role for this global and innovative research".

Resembling a pair of robotic arms linked to a surgical microscope, the system follows the doctor's movements and performs them with up to 20 times more precision using micro-instruments. This filters out even minimal vibrations from the surgeon's hand.

Led by Hamdi, the team used the robot when performing the first lymphatic bypass on a patient with lymphoedema after breast cancer. The operated vessels had a diameter of 0.4mm, making this a procedure that requires extreme precision from the surgeon, as it usually involves reconnecting the finest anatomical structures such as blood vessels, nerves or lymphatic vessels.

UZ Brussel has started further scientific research to follow up on the possibilities of this robot for super microsurgery.




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