Wearable haptic interfaces for applications in gynecologic robotic surgery: a proof of concept in robotic myomectomy
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Uterine fibromatosis is common in women, with an estimated prevalence of up to 15–50% after 35 years. About 80% of women affected by fibromatosis have symptoms and require medical or surgical treatment. Nowadays, the gold standard for the surgical treatment of uterine fibromatosis is the use of minimally invasive surgery. The surgical skills and improvements offered by robotic approach can be relevant in reproductive surgery, in particular in minimally invasive myomectomy. However, the lack of tactile feedback of robotic platform is an important technical drawback that can reduce the accuracy of surgical procedures. Here, we present the design and the preliminary test of the wearable fabric, yielding display wearable haptic interfaces able to generate a real-time tactile feedback in terms of stiffness for applications in gynecologic robotic surgery. We preliminarily tested the device in the simulation of a real scenario of conservative myomectomy with the final purpose of increasing the accuracy and precision during surgery. The future goal is the integration of a haptic device with the commercially available robotic surgical systems with the purpose of improving the precision and accuracy of the surgical operation, thus allowing a better understanding concerning the anatomical relationship of the target structures. This in turn could determine a change in the surgical strategy in some cases, letting some patients selected for a demolitive approach retaining their uterus. This could improve surgical outcomes in fertile women enrolled for minimally invasive surgery for uterine fibroids and may be a facilitation for young gynecological surgeons or during residency teaching plans and learning programs.
KeywordsRobotic surgery Myomectomy Haptic feedback Fertility preservation MIS
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Andrea Giannini, Matteo Bianchi, Davide Doria, Simone Fani, Marta Caretto, Antonio Bicchi, and Tommaso Simoncini have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.
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