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Robotic surgery experts gather in Seoul for conference
  • By Lee Hye-seon
  • Published 2018.12.14 15:16
  • Updated 2018.12.14 16:42
  • comments 0

Experts in robotic surgery around the world have gathered at the Severance Hospital in Seoul on Friday to participate in the International Robotic Surgery Live 2018 (IRSL 2018), a two-day conference.

The Korean Endourological Society hosted the conference and the Severance Hospitals’ Robot & MIS (minimally-invasive surgery) Center organized the event. IRSL 2018 is the 12th international symposium, aimed to share robotic surgery expertise among physicians worldwide.

Han Woong-kyu, director of the Robot & MIC Center at the Severance Hospital, speaks during an interview at the hospital in Seoul Friday.

This year, the event takes place in Korea where robot-assisted surgeries are highly advanced. More than 600 experts in robotic surgery from more than 10 countries, including the U.S., Australia, Saudi Arabia, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore, are participating in the conference.

Experts in various fields including urology, hepatobiliary and pancreas surgery, colorectal surgery, and orthopedic surgery will share the latest knowledge and know-how in robotic surgery.

During the IRSL 2018, physicians will demonstrate a live surgery using the “da Vinci SP System,” the latest single-point surgical robot, and a semi-live operation using “Revo-I,” a locally developed surgical robot system.

Han Woong-kyu, director of the Robot & MIC Center, said the conference not only displays laparoscopic surgery equipment but offers orthopedic sessions, which is the first in Korea to do so at an international symposium. “The event will help experts also utilize robots in interventional procedures such as neurovascular surgery, radiology, and endoscopic robotic surgeries,” he said.

Organizers also set up a medical engineering session that incorporates the College of Engineering’s technologies. Participants can also observe various surgical robots, medical robots and artificial intelligence used in medical science.

Han noted that the scope of robotic surgeries was widening.

“When I first saw the prototype of a single-port robotic surgical system in the U.S. in 2013, I doubted that this could ever work. Having an operation with it seemed almost impossible, but the U.S. has begun selling this in early this year,” Han said. “Orthopedic robots or robots that enter the cardiovascular system are like the ‘Magic School Bus,’ the children’s book series. The scope of robotic application is broadening into human operations.”

Famous scholars such as Sam Atallah(Florida Hospital, USA), Tsung Lin Yang(National Taiwan Univ., Taiwan), and Brett Fritsch(Sydney Orthopaedic Research Institute, Australia) are to offer lectures.

The Severance Hospital’s Robot & MIC Center introduced the first robotic surgery in 2005 in Korea. As of June, the center has performed more than 20,000 robotic surgeries, which was the first in the world.

The Robot & MIC Center is preparing to introduce Revo-i. It recently operated a live surgery, using the SP System for the first time in the world.

The hospital also expanded the areas of robotic surgeries from surgery and urology to 14 fields including otorhinolaryngology, obstetrics and gynecology, and thoracic surgery.


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