Robot-assisted micro interventional glaucoma surgery reduces surgeon's tremors

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Gautam Kamthan, MD, presented data at AAO 2022 regarding robot-assisted micro interventional glaucoma surgery.

Video transcript

Note: This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

Gautam Kamthan, MD: Our presentation's very exciting. You know, in the height of the pandemic in New York City when it was ground zero, we got this robot. It's the first surgical robot for ophthalmology. And we launched this project to explore if we could do surgery with this robot in the anterior segment.

Under the leadership of Dr. Sean Ianchulev and Dr. Jim Tsai, we were able to get the first and only surgical robot for ophthalmology. And this is a robot that has been used in humans actually, the only one of its kind. And we have the only one at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, where we have been doing this project.

The exciting thing about this robot is that it has a 20 times improvement in surgeon's tremor over the natural resting tremor. So that's really important because when we're doing glaucoma surgery, the structures that we're targeting are very microscopic. And so in order to do the surgery on these structures, you really need a lot of high precision. So this was a natural choice for us to use the robot, target glaucoma surgery, and expand on the current robot's abilities of doing retina surgery, which is what it had been used for in Europe.

So in our project, what we did, we designed a feasibility study. And we compared human manual surgery using implantable and non implantable mixed technologies to do glaucoma surgery. And we compare that to performing it with the robot. And what we found actually, very encouragingly was the robot was able to do those surgeries, and even possibly better.

So this is exciting because as we look forward to the future and our clinical trial, we'll continue to develop the robot for that. So this is great because glaucoma is one of the top causes of blindness in the world. And with the robot, this expands on the possibilities of new surgeries for the future, and maybe even improving on current surgeries.