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Robotic surgery on awake patient: the contribution of Medics to a revolutionary operation


The success of this feat, performed at the Molinette Hospital in Turin for the first time in the world, confirms the absolute value of the combination of surgical skills, use of robotics and the support of Medics' 3D models.

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When a 62-year-old woman from Rome went to the Molinette hospital in Turin, Italy to ask for help in facing a malignant tumor of a kidney, that no one felt like operating because of the very high risk related to a possible removal of the mass, her case immediately appeared extremely complex to Dr. Paolo Gontero, Professor of Urology and Director of Molinette's Urology Clinic. The patient could not be subjected to general anesthesia, because of a respiratory status already severely compromised following the previous removal of a lung, and putting her to sleep would have involved a risk of death of about 80%.

A few weeks ago, after the condition of the kidney mass worsened, the medical team decided to accept the challenge and to plan a kind of operation never experienced before, using only local anesthesia and two cutting-edge technological tools: the Da Vinci robotic surgical system, produced by US company Intuitive Surgical, and the Hyper Accuracy 3D platform by the Italian innovative company Medics. The use of 3D reconstruction of the kidney in the pre-operative phase allowed Dr. Gontero and his team to develop an optimal surgical planning, which led to a textbook execution - the tumor was removed without complications - and to the complete success of the operation.

The use of a surgical robot on an awake person constitutes a new world record for the Città della Salute (City of Health) complex of Turin. On the other hand, this is not the first time that Medics, a Turin-based company specialized in 3D anatomical modeling, has contributed to the success of a high-risk surgery: from 2016 to date, its patient-specific anatomical reconstructions have represented a concrete support in the pre- and intra-operative planning of hundreds of extremely complex surgeries. The successful outcome of this operation is a reconfirmation of how surgical skills combined with the use of robotics and the support offered by Medics' 3D models prove to be a winning formula.

In the era of precision surgery, where approaches are increasingly conservative and less invasive, Medics is helping to redefine the standard of pre-operative planning and intra-operative support with a custom made approach. Medics' project was born in 2016 and developed in an innovative startup incubated in I3P: in the following years, the young company has obtained funding of over €830,000 and has distinguished itself for its brilliant results to the point of being elected Startup of the Year 2019. Thanks to its in-depth medical-surgical knowledge and state-of-the-art technical skills, Medics has developed the Hyper Accuracy 3D system to offer very high fidelity and precision three-dimensional reconstructions of the individual patient's anatomy, allowing surgery to be planned as accurately and safely as possible.

Medics' technology has already been tested by the IRCCS Institute of Candiolo, a center of excellence specialized in the treatment of oncological pathologies, and a few days ago it contributed to the success of another operation of absolute importance: the removal of a rare tumor of the biliary tract, led by Dr. Christian Cotsoglou, head of General Surgery at the ASST of Vimercate, in the province of Monza and Brianza. The variety of possible applications is due to the transversal workflow adopted by Medics: every surgery can take advantage of it, without limits, to make possible futuristic operations and thus save more and more lives.

Press review

"Robotic surgery 'salvages' kidney" - ANSA

"AI, Da Vinci robot removes kidney tumor from awake patient" - World Today News