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Definition: telesurgery


A medical technology that allows a surgeon to operate long distance. Also called "telepresence surgery," by combining advances in imaging, video, robotics and sensors, the system gives doctors the full sensory experience of hands-on surgery. The surgeon performs the operation sitting at a console that displays a high-resolution image of the patient. See telemedicine, 3D surgery, telepresence and robotic surgery.






"Being There"
With early work funded by DARPA and NIH, SRI International became involved with telesurgery in the early 1980s. These images from the late 1990s show the surgeon operating remotely while being assisted by a doctor who does not have the same skill level. (Images courtesy of SRI International.)






Da Vinci Surgery
The da Vinci robot from Intuitive Surgical is used in hospitals around the world for minimally invasive surgery, and since 2000, more than three million patients have been treated. Because the da Vinci robot is electronically activated, it is also used for telesurgery. (Image courtesy of Intuitive Surgical, Inc., www.davincisurgery.com)