We evaluated the feasibility of telerobotic microsurgical repair of corneal lacerations. The telerobotic microsurgical device consisted of a Robotic Slave Micromanipulator Unit (RSMU) coupled to a Telepresence Surgical System (TeSS). Five mm central full-thickness corneal wounds were fashioned in five enucleated rabbit eyes and repaired remotely using the telerobotic system. Five additional eyes were also repaired by hand using a standard technique. The primary outcome measure was creation of a watertight seal. All eyes in both groups maintained an intraocular pressure (IOP) of 25mm Hg without leak. The mean repair time was 80 min (range 50-130) with telerobotic surgery compared to 8 min (range 7-9) by hand. Histological evaluation showed that suture placement was similar in robotically assisted repair and manual repair. Subjectively, the telerobotic system provided adequate three-dimensional visualization of the surgical field. The study showed that a surgeon could close standardized corneal wounds using the telerobotic system. The potential benefits of remote eye surgery include improved access, surgical teleconsultation and telementoring.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics