Today heart operations must be performed after the heart has been intentionally stopped by the surgeon, but with the assistance of a robot, future heart surgery will be performed on beating hearts. Look for robotic surgeons to be operating on beating hearts within five years. R.C.J.
A 3D computer model predicts the movements of the heart as it beats so that a robot can move its tools in perfect synchronization with each beat, enabling surgeons to perform surgery without having to stop the heart. The technique has yet to be tried on real patients, but French researchers report in the International Journal of Robotics Research that they have developed a three-dimensional computer model that will allow surgeons to direct a robot in performing surgery on a beating heart.
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