How Robotics Are Revolutionizing the Future of Neurosurgery: Richard Williamson, MD, FAANS


The neurosurgeon at Allegheny Health Network detailed the potential for robotics in neurosurgery over the coming years, and the vast improvements in comfortability during these procedures. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"There are even ways we can have robotics do portions of a procedure, some of the automated portions. We can use a CT scan on someone’s brain, and with the outline of their skull and with some precision, we can have a robot remove or drill aware a very small piece of the skull in order to gain surgical access. Obviously that technology, as it stands right now, we’re not there yet."

Neurosurgery can be a complex and complicated procedure that requires an experienced team; however, the advancements in robotics are changing alleviating the responsibilities those in the operating room bare, while improving overall surgical outcomes. In fact, the first application of robotic surgery was in the field of neurosurgery in 1985, when a programmable machine was used to perform CT-guided stereotactic biopsy of a brain lesion.

Robotics are capable of minute, tremor-filtered movements, and are indefatigable, which is invaluable in any microsurgical arena, particularly when manipulating delicate intracranial structures. At the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Neuroscience Institute at Allegheny General Hospital, neurosurgeons are at the forefront of using robotics to assist in analyzing and operating on patients with complicated brain and spinal injuries, and diseases. For Richard Williamson, MD, FAANS, robotics is the future for neurosurgery.

In an interview with NeurologyLive®, Williamson, a neurosurgeon at AHN, discussed why he feels this way, and how he expects it to change and expand in the coming years. He provided insight on some of the technology currently being used, such as the robotic exoscope, and how it eases comfortability and improves accuracy throughout the surgical procedure.

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