National hospital in Busan adopts three-armed surgical robot

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : January 23, 2024, 15:26 Updated : January 24, 2024, 08:42
Courtesy of Pusan ​​National University Hospital
[Courtesy of Pusan ​​National University Hospital]

SEOUL -- A national university hospital has adopted a three-armed robot that assists medical operations by inserting a surgical instrument into a patient's body. During the surgery, human doctors sit at a control desk and guide the robot while observing the process through a three-dimensional video.

According to a statement released by Pusan National University Hospital (PNUH), the hospital is using the three-armed robot "Da Vinci SP" for operations. After creating an incision that is about 2.5 centimeters (0.9 inches) in diameter, Da Vinci SP utilizes two arms for surgical procedures. The third arm equipped with a camera is designed to provide 3D images to a human doctor.

Da Vinci is the third robot adopted by the university hospital in the southern port city of Busan. As of July 2023, PNUH has applied surgical robots for more than 3,000 cases. According to PNUH's thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon Cho Jeong-su, medical teams are working with robots for many diseases including breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and thyroid cancer.

"Robotic surgery offers many different advantages for patients, such as reduced pain and bleeding compared to conventional open surgeries, shorter hospital stays, and lowered risk of complications," Cho said in a statement on January 22.

The adoption of surgical robots is gaining momentum in South Korea. Samsung Medical Center in Seoul utilized robots for some 3,400 procedures last year. In 2023, the general hospital ranked ninth globally in terms of the highest number of robot-assisted surgery cases.
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