Laparoscopy reduces patient trauma, but also eliminates the surgeon's ability to directly view and touch the surgical environment. The long, rigid instruments and cameras typically used in laparoscopic surgery are constrained by the entry incision. This limits the ability to orient the tool tips arbitrarily, and prevents the optimal placement of the camera. These limitations generally restrict the application of laparoscopy to less complex procedures. Miniature in vivo robots are being designed to assist a surgeon during laparoscopic surgery. These in vivo robots, which are not constrained by entry incisions, will provide the surgeon with an enhanced field of view from arbitrary angles. These miniature camera robots were inserted through a small incision into an insufflated abdominal cavity of an anesthetized pig. The additional views, provided by the in vivo robots, allowed the surgeon to plan and place trocars safely and appropriately. The miniature robots provided additional camera angles that augmented surgical visualization and improved orientation, while abdominal procedures were performed. These successful prototype trials have demonstrated that in vivo miniature camera robots can provide surgeons with additional visual information that can increase procedural safety.
- In vivo
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