This week I spent much more time wrapping up my summer project, but I also got to have a few interesting clinical experiences.
This week I got to see the DaVinci surgical robot in action with Dr. Scherr in urology. Coming from an electrical engineering background the robotic system itself was quite impressive. It was clear to me that the size of the instruments and the magnification the device gives the surgeon allows for greater flexibility during the surgery. Though I wonder how difficult it is for the surgeon to control the robot during a delicate procedure; for example, how well can the surgeon control how much force they apply to their instruments while performing the procedure? Towards the end of the procedure while the surgeons were tying their final sutures I got the chance to actually see what the surgeons see through the console of the DaVinci system. Though I could not touch any of the controls on the console, from peering through the viewer of the console it was clear that the binocular vision that the system provides for the surgeon does give the surgeon a three dimensional impression of the environment where the tools are in the body. The only issue that I could see that the surgeons might have had during the procedure was that obtaining this view required that the endoscope that provided this view remained dry, which is difficult in the environment in which the endoscope must be placed to obtain the proper view of the surgical area.
To wrap up my project I am currently still working on using the simulation that I created this past week to work with real data from an MRI scan. Completing this is my goal for next week along with presenting what I find to the researchers that I have been working with over the summer and Dr. Gauthier.