Chinese Doctor Performs World’s First Telesurgery From 5000 Miles Away

A Chinese physician conducted the first telesurgery between Rome and Beijing, a distance of more than 8,000 kilometers (about 5,000 miles), in a medical first. The surgeon operated on a patient in Beijing from June 5 to 7, using cutting-edge robots and a fast internet connection. This achievement represents a major turning point in remote surgery and highlights the revolutionary potential of this technology for improving healthcare around the globe.

NASA started exploring surgical robots in the 1970s in an effort to support astronauts on far-off space missions. The first commercially successful robotic systems appeared during the late 1980s, and Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci surgical system was approved by the FDA in 2000. With the use of telesensors and haptic feedback technologies, this system enables a seated surgeon to see the operating field in three dimensions and manipulate three or four robotic arms that are fitted with surgical equipment. This mimics the tactile experience of direct intervention by allowing the surgeon to feel the tissue they are working on.

Although the first telerobotic surgery was carried out in 2001, the technical issues—most notably signal latency—took years to resolve. Zero signal delay was essential, according to Zhang Xu, the chief surgeon for the Rome-Beijing telesurgery. The operation was carried out with no noticeable latency because to a strong 5G network, which gave the surgeon exact control over the robotic equipment.

This landmark surgery was a collaborative effort by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the urology department at the Third Medical Center of the People’s Liberation Army. The team successfully removed a prostate lesion from a cancer patient, demonstrating the potential of telesurgery to revolutionize medical practice and provide advanced healthcare across vast distances.

This leap in technology has far-reaching consequences. Telesurgery could fill the gap in areas where access to specialized medical care is limited by enabling patients to get top surgeons’ knowledge without having to travel. This might greatly enhance the quality of healthcare in isolated or underprivileged places. The triumphant Rome-Beijing telesurgery further emphasizes how crucial it is to keep funding communications infrastructure. 5G and other technologies have the potential to revolutionize global access to high-quality healthcare by expanding its reach.

This groundbreaking telesurgery creates new opportunities for remote medical care and highlights the quick progress in medical technology. It uses technology to get over geographic obstacles and guarantee that patients get the finest care possible wherever they are. This is a major step forward in the effort to deliver healthcare to everyone.

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