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JAMA. 2001 Feb 7;285(5):568-72.

Minimally invasive and robotic surgery.

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Cardiopulmonary Science Research and Technology Institute, 7777 Forest Ln, Suite A323, Dallas, TX 75230, USA.


Advances in surgery have focused on minimizing the invasiveness of surgical procedures, such that a significant paradigm shift has occurred for some procedures in which surgeons no longer directly touch or see the structures on which they operate. Advancements in video imaging, endoscope technology, and instrumentation have made it possible to convert many procedures in many surgical specialties from open surgeries to endoscopic ones. The use of computers and robotics promises to facilitate complex endoscopic procedures by virtue of voice control over the networked operating room, enhancement of dexterity to facilitate microscale operations, and development of virtual simulator trainers to enhance the ability to learn new complex operations. Future research will focus on delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic modalities through natural orifices in which investigation is under remote control and navigation, so that truly "noninvasive" surgery will be a reality.

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