A U.S. team of surgeons has conducted a feat by performing surgery on a patient by remote control 4000 miles away in France.
This was done earlier this month by Dr Jacques Marescaux, of France's Research Institute Against Cancers of the Digestive Tract. Dr. Marescaux was in New York from where he monitored the patient on the screen and used tools connected to the sensors to perform Gallbladder surgery. The signals sped across the Atlantic through fibre-optic lines to robots that operated on a 68-year-old woman in Strasbourg. The patient had no complications and was discharged two days later. It was the first operation of its kind.
Doctors named this 54-minute procedure "Operation Lindbergh" -- in honour of Charles Lindbergh and his breakthrough solo flight across the Atlantic.
The operation's success raises the possibility of remote robot surgery on wounded soldiers on battlefields or astronauts in space. It also means that patients may have access to top surgeons without having to travel.