Thursday, October 9, 2008

Simulator for Needle Insertion

Ever heard about Veress needle? Probably not - unless you are a surgeon. It is an instrument used at the beginning of a laparoscopic surgery to insufflate the abdominal cavity with gas to create a working and viewing space. The surgeon inserts the needle blindly and cannot see its tip as it penetrates the tissue. As such, experienced surgeons rely on the 'feel' of the tissue as the needle travels through the various layers of the abdominal wall. And what does an inexperienced surgeon rely on? Well - technology. Robotics and haptics allows a trainee to practice the needle insertion procedure in a safe environment with no risk of injury to patient. Quanser's Needle Insertion Simulator has been developed in cooperation with Dr. Okrainec from Toronto's University Health Network and with the help of the Health Technology Exchange (HTX). Tested and tuned using input from 22 surgeons, the simulator currently undergoes validation studies.

No comments: