In the Waiting Room; December 2000; Scientific American Magazine; by David Pescovitz; 2 Page(s)
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF.-"What this is allowing me to do is take my hands and literally put them inside a patient's body," says cardiac surgeon Mark Suzuki. He is peering into a video display and manipulating controllers on what appears to be a very expensive video game.
The device is no next-generation Nintendo, though. Inside a mock operating room at Intuitive Surgical is the user interface for a robotic surgery system named da Vinci. Though available for the past several years in Europe, it only recently won U.S. approval. Yet even as breakthroughs in medical robotics have greatly advanced minimally invasive surgery, the goal that has largely driven the research appears technologically out of reach: telesurgery-operations from a distance-has been put on the back burner.