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Robot assists in world's first blood vessel stitch



A hospital in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality successfully performed tumor surgery on a patient with pancreatic cancer using the assistance of a robot.

The hospital claimed Saturday's surgery as the world's first artificial blood vessel reconstruction involving the robotic device after searching through a widely-used global medical database.

During the surgery, the robot, controlled by the doctor, found the portal vein connected to the pancreas, which was also cancerous and needed to be removed.

The most difficult stage of the surgery was replacing the portal vein with an artificial vessel without causing a massive hemorrhage, according to Bie Ping, who performed the operation.

After an instant and precise calculation by the robot, the doctor inserted one robotic arm through a small hole on the 57-year-old patient to hold the artificial vessel steady while operating another arm to stitch it using a surgical needle.

"The patient's abdomen used to be opened for such an operation," Bie said, "But the robot only left a few needle holes, which is more conducive to recovery."


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