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UK Docs Perform First Remote-Control Heart Surgery

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the a-a-b-up-down-a-b-no-wait dept.

Medicine 142

ByronScott writes "Doctors at a British hospital have just carried out the world's first surgery using a remote-controlled robot. The procedure fixed a patient's irregular heart rhythm, and although the doctor was in the same hospital as the patient — just through the wall in another room — developers of the RC surgery technology believe this is the first step toward long-distance operations. Imagine a doctor in London performing surgery on your heart in New York!"

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142 comments

Ping loss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32041156)

Gives new meaning to ping loss...

Re:Ping loss (1)

eihab (823648) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041398)

Imagine a doctor in London performing surgery on your heart in New York!

Yes. Imagine, indeed. What could possibly go wrong?

From: l33t h4xxor Mesho
To: Daughter
Subject: Your father's surgery

Hi Michelle!

We hacked into your father's machine and we know who he is. We know he's having a remote heart surgery at 12:32pm.

We also happen to control a bot net of about 100,000 machines.

Kindly, forward 6 million dollars to account #432532511155 in Bank Xyz in Switzerland, or else, we will instruct all 100k machines to DDOS the hospital.

Yours truly,
Meshko

Re:Ping loss (2, Funny)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041588)

From: Daughter
To: Mr. l33t h4xxor Mesho (by the way, is it Mesho or Meshko, you should really make up your mind.)
Subject: Your extortion demand

I am pleased to inform you that I have notified the hospital of the potential problem, and they have notified me that remote surgeries are done via a dedicated connection, not the public Internet. In light of this issue, however, they have assigned a doctor to this case. Good luck with your DDoS.

I have also contacted the FBI, who will be in contact with Swiss authorities. I will also be pleased to inform you of exactly what you can do with your six million dollars, please contact me for further information.

Yours truly,
Not as dumb as you think.

Too bad if the connection drops out... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32041168)

in the middle of a critical action during a life threatening operation. I'd also be worried about lag as one would assume that some surgical procedures require timely precision.

Re:Too bad if the connection drops out... (2, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041510)

This is why we need to demand more net neutrality!

Re:Too bad if the connection drops out... (4, Funny)

LucidBeast (601749) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041752)

Mod parent up! When I'm downloading smut, last thing I want is some heart surgery interfering.

Stargate Universe Reference (2, Informative)

martijnd (148684) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041704)

As usual science fiction is faster than reality -- although by just 2 weeks this time.

Heart surgery was performed in Stargate Universe "Divided" (S0112) on Dr Rush to remove an alien tracking device. The earth surgeon arrived by out-of-body experience while their ship was being bombarded by an alien fleet. ("Welcome to destinty. We are under attack by aliens, shields are holding, for now")

And yes, the connection was lost just before the device was removed leaving the clueless body double to do the actual removal.

Re:Stargate Universe Reference (2, Funny)

VShael (62735) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041918)

And yes, the connection was lost just before the device was removed

Wait a minute... Are they using Verizon on the Destiny?

Re:Too bad if the connection drops out... (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042884)

in the middle of a critical action during a life threatening operation. I'd also be worried about lag as one would assume that some surgical procedures require timely precision.

Surely they would require a private virtual circuit for this. Doing this over the internet is asking for trouble.

High Ping Bastards (5, Insightful)

OnePumpChump (1560417) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041188)

Until I can get reliably get pings low enough to play intercontinental TF2, I won't want anyone playing Operation Online in my guts, thanks.

Re:High Ping Bastards (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041592)

It seems to me this isn't for when you really have a choice. I'd expect it's more for people in Antarctica, or the ISS, or who are about to die in like 15 minutes without a highly specialized surgery in a rural/field hospital.

Re:High Ping Bastards (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042148)

So a hospital without highly specialized surgery equipment will have instead the robot and all the infrastructure it needs?

Re:High Ping Bastards (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042600)

After I read your parent's post I was thinking, "Correct, what could possibly go wrong!?" Then after reading yours, I said, "Oh."

surgeons, not equipment (2, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 3 years ago | (#32043296)

It's not the equipment, it's the surgeon. Depending on the type of procedure, some surgeons can be highly specialized in a specific kind of surgery. Even the large medical centers don't always have all the specialists on staff at all times.

So $1'000'000 for the robot is a lot cheaper for a regional-level center than maintaining a dedicated surgical staff who are trained in every kind of specialized surgery. Furthermore, specialists need to practice, and in a smaller hospital they may not get enough cases to maintain their specialization. Remote control would allow a hospital to draw on the the expertise of a much wider variety of specialists than they themselves can staff, even if they limit the operations to a radius of 20ms ping (say 200 miles away).

Re:High Ping Bastards (2, Funny)

tk (3690) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041744)

Assumption of familiar internet protocol connection layer and crappy consumer-quality routing services. Straw man joke. Laughter.

Re:High Ping Bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32042086)

Then we'd REALLY see the angry german kid go ballistic.

Where art thou? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32041210)

London and NY? More likely, imagine NHS outsourcing to India, China, lowest bidder etc....

URGENT!!!! (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041566)

London and NY? More likely, imagine NHS outsourcing to India, China, lowest bidder etc....

Coming soon on alt.medicine.heart-surgery...

Ha folks, Sunesh here. I am surgeon at Chennai Instatute of Cardiology and needing to do some bypass. Pls to explaining difference between vain and artery. Patient is already opened, so reply quickly kthank's.

Re:URGENT!!!! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32041790)

I would love to see that comment modded funny... Sadly I think +5 (all too likely to happen) is more reasonable.

Re:URGENT!!!! (0)

TheDugong (701481) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042168)

"Sunesh here. I am surgeon at Chennai Instatute of Cardiology and needing to do some bypass. Pls to explaining difference between vain and artery. Patient is already opened so please do the needful and revert with same kthank's."

Fixed that for you.

More worried about Malware (1)

muphin (842524) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041212)

with malware popping up in fridges and ATM's, how long will it be before the malware infects one of these machines, maybe it will write web addresses on your incision.

Re:More worried about Malware (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041296)

how long will it be before the malware infects one of these machines, maybe it will write web addresses on your incision.

Most likely it will either turn you into a zombie, or carve you up into spam.

WCPGW? (1)

greyblack (1148533) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041216)

Imagine a doctor in London performing surgery on your heart in New York!

Imagine a DDOS on the hospital server while your brit doc is performing surgery on your heart/brain/penis!

Re:WCPGW? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32041284)

Imagine a hitman or terminator blowing up the hospital and trying to kill you while a team of hot lesbian *female doctors are scrubbing each other down as they prepare to perform your penis enlargement. Oh... I thought we were playing the what-if game..

Re:WCPGW? (1)

Fex303 (557896) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041426)

Imagine a hitman or terminator blowing up the hospital and trying to kill you while a team of hot lesbian *female doctors are scrubbing each other down as they prepare to perform your penis enlargement.

Michael Bay? Is that you?

But why long distance? (1)

theY4Kman (1519023) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041218)

I've always wondered the benefits of long distance remote controlled operations. Wouldn't you much rather have a skilled surgeon standing over you performing with all of his/her senses, instead of some doctor in London?

Re:But why long distance? (3, Funny)

Fex303 (557896) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041256)

Wouldn't you much rather have a skilled surgeon standing over you performing with all of his/her senses, instead of some doctor in London?

All of his/her senses? Hmmm... I think I'd rather they don't use their sense of taste, if that's all the same to everyone else.

Re:But why long distance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32041392)

Not to mention his/her sense of humor, or fair play or...

Re:But why long distance? (1)

jayke (1531583) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041288)

You obviously would prefer that, but the technology becomes really useful when you don't have immediate access to a particular specialist who can perform that procedure. You probably wouldn't use it to remove an appendix :)

Re:But why long distance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32041332)

*breeep* *breeep* *breeep*

"God-damn-it!! I can't think of a worse time for this to happen! Guys, I'm really sorry about this. Here, caddy! Hold my clubs. Now, where's that R/C box....?"

The doctor will be in Bangalore not London (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32041606)

in case it wasn't obvious. Do you get it now?

Re:But why long distance? (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042612)

It is possible that, despite the sensory shortcomings of long-distance surgery, that a well-trained telesurgeon could be better at a particular procedure than anyone who is actually there at the hospital. Rather than paying for such a highly qualified surgeon to always be there on staff, the hospital could have a telesurgery suite and bring in the expertise when needed.

I find this a dubious argument personally, but it is one argument that can be made. A more likely situation is a surgeon, who is the best at a particularly tricky procedure, helps out a local surgeon do that procedure, but via telepresence.

Re:But why long distance? (2, Insightful)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042802)

Think about enhanced reality. No shaky hands, no rubber gloves, surface-track a beating heart and the surgeon could operate as though it weren't even moving. Scale reality to 100x, and arteries become sewer pipes.

But yeah, I don't really understand the tele-part of this. It seems like it would only be useful in the scenario that a remote hospital has a state-of-the-art medical facility with robotic surgeons and for some reason doesn't have a heart surgeon on hand.

World first, hey? (3, Informative)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041230)

From: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/innovation/episode7_essay1.html [pbs.org]

Telesurgery made international news on September 7, 2001, when the first transatlantic surgical procedure took place between New York City and Strasbourg, France at a distance of nearly 4,000 miles. Dubbed "Operation Lindbergh" after Charles Lindbergh's first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic, the surgery was a landmark in experimental long distance telesurgery.

This was also reported in the BBC News, so the English really should know better: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1552211.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:World first, hey? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041454)

I can't any link, but it wasn't too long after they robots operating on beating hearts, perfectly matching the heartbeat, that humans can't possibly do. What's new here?

Re:World first, hey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32041692)

Seems to be first world heart surgery. Slashdot is not clear about it.

Re:World first, hey? (4, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041818)

RTFH: This claims to be the world first heart surgery performed remotely. Your link is for a gall bladder removal.

Re:World first, hey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32042122)

I'm honestly trying to figure out how hard it is to get people to agree to this or to other similar operations.

"Excuse me, we have a PERFECTLY ORDINARY PROCEDURE we could do, or we could use this EXPERIMENTAL AND HIGHLY WORRISOME NEW TECHNIQUE we could try on you. Which would you like us to do?"

Albeit not phrased exactly in that way...

Re:World first, hey? (1)

CondeZer0 (158969) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042354)

Maybe the parent post thought the gallbladder is part of the heart... never underestimate people's anatomical illiteracy ;)

Re:World first, hey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32042724)

TFA reads "heart surgery" but the TITLE on the front page of SLASHDOT reads "first surgery"

--- not quite as cut-and-dry (pun intended) as you might have thought...

Well, not quite... (1)

Cragen (697038) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041258)

Well, that and how many other nurses and doctors, a *clean* operating theater, a first-rate hospital, an amazing supply system and so on. Not quite a "robotic operation", quite yet. But, still, grats!

Don't use Comcast (3, Funny)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041262)

Ooh boy, the patient just flatlined! Wait.. nevermind, lagspike. Well, we better be careful- I hear this Comcast service can cost you an arm an a leg.

Stupid LPBs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32041266)

Stupid LPBs and their lame lag kills.

This will lead to robotics to do this (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041278)

Simply put, they are building the machinery to allow the cutting, but the next step will be to replace the physical ppl. What that translate into, a guaranteed job USE to be a medical doc. The future says no.

Re:This will lead to robotics to do this (1)

lcllam (714572) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041928)

I agree. This will happen about the time technology can do a full physiological reading in seconds over thousands (millions?) of markers and tie that to a huge knowledge system - probably not in our lifetimes. At this point, doctors will only elicit symptoms (such as discomfort levels, but this will eventually also be quantified and handled by machine) and key the 'soft' data into the system.

Re:This will lead to robotics to do this (2, Informative)

locofungus (179280) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042352)

This was reported on BBC R4 today program yesterday morning.

The reason for the remote operation is because they're using X-rays. Previously, surgeons have had to wear heavy lead aprons while doing this. When these operations take 6 hours+ that's a physical demand it would be preferable they didn't have to suffer.

Tim.

Re:This will lead to robotics to do this (1)

myocardialinfarction (1606123) | more than 3 years ago | (#32043368)

Robotic surgery was mentioned on Radio 4's "News Quiz" last lear I think, with the robot operating and real-life surgeons standing by. Jeremy Hardy quipped "and they didn't try to stop it? [What is the world coming to when robots can march around performing surgery willy-nilly]." As Bender said: "And I need a heart. A human heart. (I need to pump a lot of blood out of my basement.)"

Re:This will lead to robotics to do this (1)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 3 years ago | (#32043318)

As soon as robots can perform multivariable analysis and perceive and identify objects. By then, we'll all be wired and the concept will be irrelevant.

Only on bypass (2, Insightful)

Chris Snook (872473) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041292)

If we're talking about heart surgery that happens while your heart is stopped, then a transatlantic session wouldn't be a problem, but 100 ms latency links plus moving parts are a bad combination.

More like China... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32041320)

How long until its outsourced to China to cut costs?

Things you don't want to hear during a remote proc (2, Funny)

n1hilist (997601) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041364)

Connection reset by peer.

No route to host.

%!@JQJA^NO CARRIER

"Installing service pack 3"

etc;

Re:Things you don't want to hear during a remote p (3, Funny)

dudpixel (1429789) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041420)

"I see you're writing a letter..."

or what about the sound windows makes when you plug in or unplug a usb device?

Re:Things you don't want to hear during a remote p (1)

n1hilist (997601) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041466)

..or receiving a letter from your ISP because you were downloading illicit wetware upgrades.

Hey, a guy can dream :)

Re:Things you don't want to hear during a remote p (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041844)

The *Boink boink boink* sound you get when you finish a game of Solitaire?

Not New York (1)

JakartaDean (834076) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041386)

Imagine a doctor in London performing surgery on your heart in New York!

I left my heart...

...In San Francisco.

Kind of missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32041394)

Imagine a doctor in London performing surgery on your heart in New York!

Isn't the point that excellent surgeons (often found in big cities) can perform operations in remote areas often enduring poorer quality medical equipment and professionals?

Re:Kind of missing the point (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042948)

Isn't the point that excellent surgeons (often found in big cities) can perform operations in remote areas often enduring poorer quality medical equipment and professionals?

How does this solve the problem of on-site facilities and support?

The robot and its support team. The cardiac surgery unit. Nurses, assistant surgeons or full surgical back-up teams.

Do we really need this? (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041430)

"Imagine a doctor in London performing surgery on your heart in New York!"

I'd rather not, frankly. I'd rather imagine my tax money being used to provide adequate local services such that this kind of tech was not needed.

Re:Do we really need this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32041806)

The idea is that you have the expensive rare medical specialities in the capital city hospital and the robots in regional hospitals.

The expensive doctor is probably only needed occasionally so you can't employ one everywhere but with the remote system you can have a few per state or even nationally and you're set.

Really, people are forgetting that doctors themselves tend to like these as the experiments they did with them found that the robot had a far steadier hand and much more precision then a human surgeon so things were less likely to go wrong (less risk of cutting the wrong thing; or leaving tools inside the patient which is annoyingly common as well).

And don't use Windows (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041492)

If they use windows, after every hip replacement, kidney transplant or other hardware modification, you'll have to reboot the system.

Also, watch out for McAfee, as it might shut off vital processes.

First? More like first successful (1)

billsayswow (1681722) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041516)

They tried this back in 1867. The doctor would pass his instructions by telegraph out to the coast, where someone would use semaphore flags out to a ship, where a spotter would interpret to an operator of an all-brass, steam-powered robot, through in intricate system of valves and gear shifts. It was a failure, after the spotter had to look up the letter P, and failed to relay the command "STOP" while the robot was sawing through the patient's chest. It was all the way through to the operating table by the time the command was received. Moral of the story? Lag sucks, but human error kills.

Not a first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32041568)

It's not a world first. There has been a transatlantic surgery ("ablation de la vésicule biliaire") in September 2001 between New York and Strasbourg. Full disclosure: some of my France Telecom colleagues that were part of the team had planned to visit WTC the 12th September.
See here [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Not a first (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042006)

That's why the title of the story says "heart surgery". Your link is about a gallbladder removal.

Re:Not a first (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32042824)

GP is French. To him it's all the same - they'll make pate out of anything.

The New York / London example (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041584)

Is interesting... but perhaps a more humanitarian use could be the one that sees doctors from rich countries able to assist with delicate operations in poor countries where the needed specialists skills are simply too rare ?

As for all the "risks of the web" posts... my logic is much like with the side-effects of a drug that cures a terminal disease... when the other option is certain death - it's worth the risk.

Re:The New York / London example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32041624)

The New York / London example was bogus. You got the rich/poor thing partly right: it will be in the other direction. Doctors in Bangalore or China will operate on patients in the US under the glorious insurance dystopia.

India do it can cheaper! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32041754)

Hello, my name is Chandaravanaravanra from India.

Our team of surgeons can do this cheaper muchly for you, yes?

Is this often necessary? (1)

dohzer (867770) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041788)

How often to surgeons need to do this? I'm definitely no expert, but I always thought majour surgery was generally planned a while in advance, which would allow time for travel. Is it only emergencies where this would be really useful?

Re:Is this often necessary? (1)

alabandit (1024941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042240)

3rd world, doctor could volunteer from any wear to do surgery. space, the Antarctic. during an emergency - eg. thousand injured, doctors from around the world could work continually on one/multiple machine(s). specialist for you surgery - some case there only a hand full of doctors world wide and patients can be moved, the machine would save try to fly those doctors every were. there are numerous reasons, except in first world hospital dealing with standard day today surgeries.

this is where TTL can get a whole new meaning (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32041798)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_to_live

I'm worried (1)

Artem Tashkinov (764309) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041864)

I just hope the Internet connection and electricity on both sides don't accidentally vanish. The more I think about this innovation, the more I get worried about possible outcomes of some piece of communication or electricity going awry. No, I don't fancy being a patient of such a contrivance.

Re:I'm worried (1)

alabandit (1024941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042260)

I work in the film industry. we have directors working from over seas - to our local studio directing actors and so forth. we have two completely separate uplinks in case on goes down (fibre sea cables and satellite). our back up generators take 15 seconds to kick in and ups normally hold the machines up for more more than 2 minutes with ease. there are no lives on the line over here and we mange to keep the systems up.

Liability? (1)

lcllam (714572) | more than 3 years ago | (#32041894)

So who're they going to sue if the thing goes offline? Should all network engineers for major medical facilities ask for larger risk remuneration, or just quit their jobs now?

The reason for doing it remotely - X-rays (1)

NoNeeeed (157503) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042000)

The whole operating remotely thing has interesting potential for allowing specialist surgeons to operate on patients from a distance and therefore make possible operations that might not have been possible for that patient.

However in this case the reason was because the patient was being x-rayed during the operation to allow the surgeon to see where the catheter was in the heart.

Repeated and prolonged exposure to x-rays, even low levels, is not a good thing so surgeons normally have to wear lead aprons to protect themselves during an operation like this. That get's pretty knackering after a few hours. By operating from another room the surgeon could be shielded better, while not getting tired out by the weight of protective clothing.

All in all a really interesting operation.

And not a death panel in sight :)

Don't imagine it (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042212)

Imagine, instead, your insurance company not paying for an expensive local doctor but will pay for medical outsourcing from a surgical clearing house in India somewhere.

We didn't want to believe it when they commoditized IT services and shipped them overseas. Now they will want to do it with medicine.

Forget a doctor in London (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32042222)

Imagine a cheap outsourced doctor in India hired in by your HMO for your surgery.

Why remote? (1)

JambisJubilee (784493) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042292)

So does anyone know what the advantage of doing the procedure via remote control would be? I mean, if it works fine with the doctor in the room, why another layer of abstraction? Seems as though complications that could arise during surgery would discourage this sort of thing.

Re:Why remote? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32042614)

RTFA - the type of operation involves frequent use of X-Rays and the surgical team can reduce their exposure to radiation over time by working remotely in a separate shielded room

Re:Why remote? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042740)

I can't believe that they set up all this additional complication just because the surgeon was too fucking lazy to walk to the next room!

Image a doctor in India performing surgery... (4, Insightful)

St.Creed (853824) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042316)

" Imagine a doctor in London performing surgery on your heart in New York!"

Yeah, that might happen. Or it might just go the way things already are moving and see some outsourcing to China and India. Which wouldn't have to be all that bad, since (a) you get Western hygiene and staff during the operation and while recovering, and you (may/might) get the benefit of a doctor who treats 10 patients a day and is really, really experienced. This is actually a good reason for Chinese people in The Netherlands to go to China for certain procedures, like operations on joints and other non-life threatening stuff. Whereas a Dutch doctor might treat a few patients a week with and never see arare complication, his Chinese colleague will treat a dozen a day and is likely to have handled that complication several times in the last month. And in this type of surgery, experience matters.

Where I see most use for this though, is to get an expert online for a very difficult surgery, who does the really tricky stuff then leaves the opening and closing procedures to the staff at hand. I think the military might be the biggest users for this type of machinery.

NY Docs *that* bad? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042378)

I doubt that trans-atlantic surgery would ever catch on. Remote surgeries in little burgs, maybe.

Just imagine (1)

Bat Dude (1449125) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042400)

I can see it now!. Pop up ( Do you really want to cut here) or you have been redirected, this Ad brought to you by republic of china. or worse still Blue screen of death.

London to New York surgery too costly (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32042486)

London to New York surgery? That's not cost effective enough ! I think New Delhi-New York offers much better value proposition. Would you like this week special? Kidney transplant only $29.99. And they could have surgery pods in Walmart with direct connection to "top" offshore surgeons !!

Since no other MDs appear to be commenting... (5, Informative)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042534)

There are several things to note here::
  • This is a heart catheterization, not an open procedure.
  • The surgeon is present to perform the vascular access and leaves the room only to avoid the frankly huge amounts of radiation necessary to perform the procedure.
  • It's not done over the Internet.
  • You can't do this remotely because you still need a surgeon and anesthesiologist on site (remember, the surgeon has to get into the vessel in the first place, and if anything goes wrong, he's going to have to run upstairs to do emergency heart surgery). This thing isn't mobile in any common sense of the word.

Re:Since no other MDs appear to be commenting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32043156)

I love how, until now, there are no replies to your post. It's as if a post full of facts is this weird sort of bastard child, and everyone just wants to pretend like it isn't really there... :)

Cost issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32042580)

"Imagine a doctor in London performing surgery on your heart in New York!"

I did imagine. And it cost me much less than if a NY surgeon was involved.

That's why it will/won't happen.

Outsourced (1)

meyekul (1204876) | more than 3 years ago | (#32042640)

This may sound like a winner now, but just wait until they start outsourcing your surgeries to sweat shops in China.

No wonder (0)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 3 years ago | (#32043040)

No wonder medical care is so expensive. Is there only one heart surgeon in the world? The whole medical/pharmaceutical industry is long overdue for an enema IMO. Time to democratize medicine.

First robotic surgery ever? I think not! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32043182)

Maybe not heart surgery but robotic surgery is OLD news in the Great White North:

http://www.lhsc.on.ca/About_Us/LHSC/Media_Room/Media_Releases/2003/january17.htm

We've been doing it since 2003.

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