Surgeon team in The Netherlands learns to use Zeus robot in abdominal vascular repair

Amsterdam 22 March 2002An international team of doctors at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) Medical Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, has performed an advanced abdominal laparoscopic procedure with Computer Motion's Zeus Robotic Surgical System. The surgeons, Dr. Carlos Gracia, Dr. Willem Wisselink and Dr. Miguel Cuesta, are the first in the world to use Zeus for a vascular operation of this kind. The surgeons at VU were trained in the procedure and mentored during the case by Carlos Gracia, M.D., Associate Professor and Chief of Minimally Invasive Surgery at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine.


The surgeons used Zeus on two patients to bypass blockages in the abdomen of the main arteries that carry blood to the legs. The robot was applied to successfully perform the suturing of the anastamosis from the aorta to the bypass graft. This laparoscopic procedure makes it possible to repair the aorta without making large incisions in the abdominal cavity.

The multi-jointed instruments used with the Zeus MicroWrist provide the surgeons with the flexibility and range of motion required to perform complex vascular suturing in the abdominal cavity. During both operations, Dr. Wisselink was seated at the ergonomically designed Zeus console, viewing a magnified image of the operative site while controlling the "arms" of the Zeus robot to perform the surgery. Drs. Gracia and Cuesta worked by the patient's side at the operating table. Both surgeries were successful.

Dr. Gracia stated: "With this procedure, we have truly refined laparoscopic surgery. With the robotic systems, we are introducing enabling technology that will permit increasing numbers of surgeons to perform these complex procedures. These same robotic technologies will revolutionise how we will also train surgeons on these new techniques."

Dr. Wisselink, Associate Professor of Surgery and Director of the Minimally Invasive Vascular Surgery Programme at the Vrije Universiteit Medical Center concluded: "As this advance in vascular surgery shows, with Zeus, we are in reach of the potential to make significant leaps in surgery." Dr. Cuesta, a Vrije Universiteit Medical Center surgeon, added: "Using robotics to enable laparoscopic surgery in smaller parts of the anatomy, we can continue to make operations faster and get patients home sooner."

Maky Zanganeh, Vice President of European and Middle East Operations at Computer Motion, commented: "Our surgeon partners continue to pioneer advances in robotically assisted minimally invasive surgery. It is through their hard work, dedication, and expertise that these new approaches to treating patients can be made. The benefits of minimally invasive surgery have been recognised for some time, and it is with the addition of robotics that this tremendous advance in treatment will be brought to a much wider patient population."

You can read more on the use of Zeus in ground-breaking procedures in this VMW issue's article Children's Hospital of Michigan promotes paediatric robot surgery programme with Zeus-assisted intervention on teenager.

Leslie Versweyveld

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