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Robot-assisted vitreoretinal surgery: current perspectives

Authors Roizenblatt M, Edwards TL, Gehlbach PL

Received 18 October 2017

Accepted for publication 11 December 2017

Published 23 February 2018 Volume 2018:5 Pages 1—11


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Masoud Azodi

Video abstract presented by Marina Roizenblatt.

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Marina Roizenblatt,1,2,* Thomas L Edwards,3,* Peter L Gehlbach2

1Department of Ophthalmology, Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA; 2Department of Ophthalmology, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 3Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Vitreoretinal microsurgery is among the most technically challenging of the ­minimally invasive surgical techniques. Exceptional precision is required to operate on micron scale targets presented by the retina while also maneuvering in a tightly constrained and fragile workspace. These challenges are compounded by inherent limitations of the unassisted human hand with regard to dexterity, tremor and precision in positioning instruments. The limited human ability to visually resolve targets on the single-digit micron scale is a further limitation. The inherent attributes of robotic approaches therefore, provide logical, strategic and promising solutions to the numerous challenges associated with retinal microsurgery. Robotic retinal surgery is a rapidly emerging technology that has witnessed an exponential growth in capabilities and applications over the last decade. There is now a worldwide movement toward evaluating robotic systems in an expanding number of clinical applications. Coincident with this expanding application is growth in the number of laboratories committed to “robotic medicine”. Recent technological advances in conventional retina surgery have also led to tremendous progress in the surgeon’s capabilities, enhanced outcomes, a reduction of patient discomfort, limited hospitalization and improved safety. The emergence of robotic technology into this rapidly advancing domain is expected to further enhance important aspects of the retinal surgery experience for the patients, surgeons and society.

Keywords: robotic eye surgery, vitrectomy, retina, robotic assistance, minimally invasive surgery, precision

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