Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have announced that their recently-developed surgical robot has successfully conducted endoscopic surgery on a live animal.
The robot, dubbed K-FLEX, is a snake-like, flexible machine that can be inserted into the patient's body through natural openings or through incisions.
That way, it can carry out different kinds of surgery and observe organ conditions, without physically opening or cutting up the flesh.
The researchers said K-FLEX removed the gallbladder of a live pig in a preclinical trial in July.
That's when they realized their product could be a practical solution to bacterial infection, excessive blood loss, and complications, which can affect patients when they get surgical treatment the traditional way.
The head of K-FLEX is equipped with several microscopic arms, which are remotely controlled by surgeons.
"Our product is far more advanced than the existing endoscopic kits. It can not only diagnose a condition, but can also conduct complex surgical procedures like cutting out cancerous tissue or tumors right on the spot."
The researchers say the development of K-FLEX is significant, since it uses domestically made parts and software.
They also add that once the robot is fully developed and commercialized, it will simplify surgery and make it easier to perform, which could reduce the cost of treatment.
Cho Sung-min, Arirang News.