Your sight in mechanical hands

Progress on a CE-marked robot for vitreoretinal surgery was detailed at the World Association of Eye Hospital’s annual meeting in London

Robot hand

Delegates from eye hospitals across the world heard how a surgical robot provided assistance in an epiretinal membrane peeling operation at the World Association of Eye Hospital’s annual meeting in London last Friday (7 June).

Ophthalmology resident Saskia van Romunde, from Rotterdam Eye Hospital, provided an update on the Preceyes surgical system.

A milestone moment occurred last week when the technology received CE marking approval, becoming the first robot in the world to be clinically validated to assist surgeons in retinal surgery.

The system allows clinicians to operate on retinal structures down to as little as 20 microns for prolonged periods of time, compared to 100 microns for manual surgery.

Ms van Romunde described an epiretinal membrane peeling surgery with a 78-year-old female patient that the robot assisted on.

“It’s a very precise procedure and it takes a lot of time to master the skill,” she emphasised.

The procedure involved a mix of manual and automatic surgery.

Ms van Romunde highlighted that while the surgery was successful, with no complications, the robot-assisted surgery took longer than manual surgery and further adjustments to the technology would be needed.

For more insight into the event, keep an eye out for OT’s upcoming video covering a diverse range of projects – from a virtual eye hospital in Finland to the use of artificial intelligence for glaucoma screening in the Netherlands.

Image credit: Getty/PhonlamaiPhoto