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$500 Surgical Device: Great Alternative For Hospitals Who Can’t Afford Expensive Surgical Robots

Update Date: Feb 24, 2017 07:47 PM EST

Robot-assisted surgery, also known as robotic surgery, allows a doctor to perform several types of complex procedures with more flexibility, control and precision than is possible using conventional techniques. Robotic Surgery is usually connected with minimally invasive surgery - procedures that are performed through tiny incisions. But there were times that it is use in traditional open surgical procedures.

Surgery robots are very expensive. In some big hospitals, they have a $2 million robotic system performing precise medical procedures. But according to Technology Review, there is a $500 device that could help surgeons perform minimally invasive surgery in some small and remote hospitals.

The device commercialized by FlexDex Surgical is a handheld instrument that perform small incisions and stitching in the body. It mounts to a surgeon's arm and the location of the device's center of rotation is at the same point as the surgeon's wrist. So the $500 surgical device is just like an extension of the arm.

In University of Michigan Health System, the $500 surgical device was used in an abdominal surgery for the first time. And its creators said that the device could be used to other surgical procedures like hysterectomies, prostate removal surgeries and hernia repairs.

Pediatric Surgeon Jim Geiger and mechanical engineer Shorya Awtar, who are both University of Michigan professors, created a robot-like device that functions without a computer chip or a motor. Both inventors said that the device can do tasks like the Da Vinci robot, made by Intuitive Surgical.

The Da Vinci is the only robotic surgical system that has been approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But Da Vinci robotic surgical system became out of reach for smaller hospitals because of its $2 million price tags. And according to its website, Intuitive Surgical has already installed 3,803 Da Vinci robotic surgical systems worldwide, which includes 644 in Europe and 2,501 in U.S.

According to Futurism, surgeons need to familiarize with the modern technology. And Awtar and Geiger isn't expecting that the the $500 surgical device will replace the $2 million Da Vinci robots in hospitals that already have them. But it will help to perform minimally invasive surgeries to some parts of the world where many procedures are still done with traditional surgery.

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