Professor Michael Wilson of The Baird Institute, recently spoke to Matt Peacock of the ABC’s 7.30 Report.
The revolution in robotics and artificial intelligence has made its way into surgery. Patients needing coronary artery bypasses would normally require open heart surgery but now, thanks to robots, they are facing far less traumatic surgery and a much faster recovery.
The “Da Vinci” robot is used by Professor Wilson to minimise the invasive chest surgery normally associated with a bypass operation. Also talking to Matt Peacock on the 7.30 Report was Professor Vipul Patel from the “Global Robotics Institute” at Florida Hospital in the USA. Professor Patel is world-renowned for his contribution to the field of robotic-assisted surgery and is one of the most experienced robotic surgeons in the world. He has personally performed more than 10,000 robotic prostatectomies.
Professor Patel was the plenary speaker and guest of honour at the recent Sydney Robotic Summit on the future of Robotic Surgery. The Summit hosted some of the world’s best Robotic Surgeons from across multiple surgical specialities. In his session, Professor Patel examined where we would be 10 years from now in the operating rooms of hospitals. Many of the surgeons associated with the Baird Institute also presented at the Robotics Summit; Professor Paul Bannon, Chair of The Baird Institute, spoke on adopting innovation ethically, while Professor Michael Wilson spoke on when to do open heart surgery, thoracoscopic surgery or surgery using the Da Vinci robot. One of our past Research Fellows, Dr Michael Seco, presented on robotic cardiac surgery at the Summit.
‘When I first saw pictures of it, I couldn’t believe it. There was a surgeon to the side and the patient on the table. And the surgeon was controlling the whole thing through a robot at some remove from the operating table itself.”