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Beyond the Gate

Woodward North Students Get Hands-On with Surgical Robots

On Friday, January 27, doctors from Advanced Urology visited Woodward North to give students an opportunity to learn about the evolution of surgery and a chance to test drive the literal cutting edge of surgical technology.

"Medicine is fun, engaging, and impactful on the lives of many. We are eager to share our love of medicine and surgery with teachers and students at Woodward," said Jitesh & Shital Patel, and Neal & Neelam Patel of Advanced Urology, in introducing the event.

During the event students had the opportunity to interact with four distinct work stations. The first, explained the concept of open surgery: making an incision, opening the abdomen or chest, and fixing or removing organs. Students were shown how to sew on pink, flesh-like silicone pads with real instruments and real suture. The station sought to teach participants basic technical surgical skills.

The next station demonstrated the evolution to laparoscopic surgery, which involves small incisions into the abdomen or chest through which instruments are placed. A small telescope is placed inside the abdomen or chest to facilitate two-dimensional visualization. Laparoscopic surgery, while less invasive, makes it significantly harder to manipulate tissue and remove organs. It requires tremendous skill and training. Five simulator stations allowed students to work with laparoscopic instruments in a 2D environment. Simple games challenged their hand-eye coordination and dexterity. With time, effort, practice, and patience many students were able to complete the challenge.

The highlight of the student experience was two stations demonstrating the Intuitive Davinci Surgical Robot. The first was a surgical console facilitating play exercises with live robotic instruments. The 3D optics combined with advanced intuitive controls helped ensured improved dexterity, visualization, and ease of use while completing tasks with real objects. The second station was a surgical console paired with a simulator, challenging students to manipulate objects and complete challenges in virtual 3D space.

  • technology
  • woodward north

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