Italian surgeons performed a remote microsurgical operation using a 5G mobile network. The surgeon was about 15 kilometers away from the patient. True, the patient was dead this time. The report of the telesurgical experiment was posted in the report of Internal Medicine.
The first long-range operation was performed in 2001. The surgeon, who was in the U.S., removed the gallbladder to a patient in France. The connection between the doctor and the surgical robot was ensured by a cable. This achievement has not been repeated since then due to the limited number of robots and the lack of reliable communication networks.
With the advent of the new high-speed mobile network (5G) generation and the increased availability of robots, telesurgery may become routine. Italian surgeons have already used 5G for consultation: specialists have managed an operation performed by less qualified doctors. Now the same group of scientists directly performed a very complex microsurgical laser operation on the larynx of the corpse.
The operating surgeon was in Milan, and the corpse on which the operation was performed was in a laboratory 15 km from the city. The body was prepared by two assistants, and the procedure was performed with the help of a 5G network.
The three-dimensional video signal in high resolution came from the robot to the surgeon in an average of 102 milliseconds. The surgeon effectively controlled the robot, laser and clamps, the report says. Scientists emphasize the convenience of the interface through which the surgery was performed.
The scientists noted that operating via a mobile network can be especially relevant for use in remote communities or in various disasters.