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Surgery

— Science

Sonic "invisible scalpel" could be used for non-invasive surgery

By - December 20, 2012 1 Picture
First of all, how can non-invasive surgery even be possible? After all, even in the case of minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery, small incisions are still made in the skin. Nonetheless, that’s just what scientists from the University of Michigan are proposing. They believe that it could be achieved by using a beam of sound, which would be emitted through the skin to a highly-focused point within the body – and they’ve already created such a beam and used it. Read More
— Medical

DARPA foam fights internal bleeding

By - December 11, 2012 2 Pictures
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing a foam that can be injected into the body cavities of battlefield wounded to protect them from internal abdominal bleeding. The agency hopes that when perfected, this polyurethane polymer foam will help the wounded to survive the critical minutes needed to transport them to proper surgical facilities for treatment. Read More
— Science

SMART tool compensates for surgeons' hand tremors

By - September 28, 2012 1 Picture
No matter how steady you try to hold your hand, it will still tremble several times a second, moving a distance roughly the same as the thickness of a sheet of paper each time. While that might not matter much for the average person, it can be a very big deal to surgeons performing fine-scale surgery on things like eyes or nerve fibers. While there are experimental robotic devices to help smooth out the shakes, researchers from Johns Hopkins University have come up with something else – a surgical tool with a jiggling tip. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

HemoSep recovers blood during surgery to improve open-heart surgery prospects

By - September 6, 2012 1 Picture
A simpler, cheaper and more efficient method to recover blood lost during open heart and major trauma surgeries has been developed at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Called HemoSep, the method has produced successful results during trials at the Kirikkale University Hospital in Ankara, Turkey, improving prospects for cardiac surgery patients. The technology is soon to be launched commercially. Read More
— Good Thinking

Student-designed surgical device could be the "future of suture"

By - August 20, 2012 2 Pictures
Just about every major operation on the chest or abdomen requires surgeons to cut through the fascia, which is a layer of muscle located immediately beneath the skin. Closing these wounds can be very difficult – sewing up an incision in the fascial layer has been likened to trying to push a needle through shoe leather. If proper care isn’t taken, however, potentially lethal complications can result. Now, a team of undergraduate students from Johns Hopkins University have created a device that should make the procedure easier and safer. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Electronic fingertips could lead to smart surgical gloves

By - August 18, 2012 4 Pictures
Using industry-standard manufacturing technology, researchers have integrated ultrathin and stretchable silicon-based electronics, sensors and actuators on an artificial skin that can be worn on the tip of your fingers. The result is an artificial finger cuff that could be used to produce the ultimate hi-tech surgeon's glove, capable of sensing the electrical properties of tissue, removing it locally, or even performing ultrasound imaging with a simple touch. Read More
— Medical

Robot aids surgeons in catheter procedures, helps avoid radiation

By - July 28, 2012 3 Pictures
When we think about a heart operation, it’s only natural to be concerned about the risks faced by the patient. What is overlooked is that the surgeon often faces risks in the operating theater as well. All the modern surgical paraphernalia may make cardiac medicine tremendously more advanced than it was a generation ago, but some of that equipment uses radiation that can be very dangerous to be around ... and surgeons are around it a lot. To help alleviate this, Corindus Vascular Robotics of Natick, Massachusetts, developed the CorPath 200 System. It’s a robot-assisted catheter system for unblocking arteries that allows cardiac surgeons to operate from a protective lead-lined cockpit while carrying out cardiac stent and balloon procedures. Read More
— Medical

"Desperate Debra" preps surgeons for tricky C-sections

By - July 4, 2012 4 Pictures
Though its makers describe Desperate Debra as "the world's first impacted fetal head simulator," it's perhaps simpler to describe it as a practice dummy for caesarean sections carried out due to the baby's head having become wedged in the mother's pelvis: a situation known as impaction. It's a potentially life-threatening complication and one that is tricky to rectify. Manufacturer of medical simulators Adam,Rouilly has come up with Desperate Debra so that surgeons may practice the procedure. Read More
— Medical

Nerve detour restores partial hand function in quadriplegic patient

By - May 18, 2012 1 Picture
It's been a good news week for those suffering debilitating spinal injuries. First we looked at a breakthrough that enables quadriplegic patients to move robotic arms using just their thoughts and now, in related news, surgeons at the Washington University School of Medicine have reported the successful rerouting of working nerves in the upper arms of a quadriplegic patient, restoring some hand function. Read More
— Medical

Prototype device could take a load off of obese patients during surgery

By - May 11, 2012 4 Pictures
When an anesthetized obese patient is lying on their back on an operating table, the weight of their abdominal fat can make it difficult for them to breathe. It can also press down on and displace their organs, making certain procedures more challenging. Mehdi Razavi, director of electrophysiology clinical research at the Texas Heart Institute, had encountered such problems first-hand, with patients of his own. He decided to turn to Houston’s Rice University, to see if its students could come up with a solution. In response, a group of bioengineering seniors created something called the R-Aide, which uses vacuum-powered suction cups to lift up patients’ bellies. Read More

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