Background: Conventional vascular interventional surgery (VIS) is manually performed under fluoroscopic guidance, requiring lead protection for the surgeons. A remote-control vascular interventional surgery robot (VISR) which can remotely, safely and precisely perform VIS would have clear advantages.
Methods: Our robot adopts a master-slave structure. The surgeon sits at the master site, sending controlling instructions to the robot fixed at the slave site, then the robot translates these instructions into catheter motion. The robotic mechanism consists of a supporting manipulator and a catheter navigator; the former adjusts the robot's spatial position, while the latter controls the translation and rotation of the catheter. A 3D vascular model is reconstructed so that the surgeon can perform surgical planning easily. In addition, the tactile force between catheter tip and blood vessel is measured, which prevents the surgeon damaging delicate vessels. In glass model and animal experiments, the surgeon remotely controlled VISR, which inserted a catheter into predefined targets, and the robotic surgery time was measured.
Results: The robot was initially tested on a transparent glass vascular model. Under robotic manipulation, the catheter can enter an arbitrary branch of the vascular model and catheter motion can meet the requirements of clinical VIS. Then robotic surgery was performed successfully in an adult dog. Surgery time to access each of the five targets, viz. renal artery, left atrium, right atrium, left ventricle and right ventricle, was measured. Compared with conventional manual surgery, robotic surgery time is a little longer.
Conclusions: The experiments show the feasibility and safety of the VISR to facilitate navigation, position precisely and control catheters to specific regions. The VISR system offers surgeon radiation safety and minimizes surgeon-based error.
(c) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.