Robotics in interventional radiology (IR) is an emerging area following the growth of engineering technology. Machine-assisted procedures are already performed in various disciplines including general, cardiothoracic and urologic surgery. The best-known is the Da Vinci® Surgical System. The application of robotics in IR has been an ongoing topic of discussion in many international society meetings.
The proposed advantages to be gained include greater precision and control, reduced procedural radiation exposure time, and reduced complications and mortality. There is potential for teleoperation which could offer remote patient access.
The disadvantages of robotic IR using current technology include higher procedural costs, longer pre-procedural preparation, and the need for additional staff. In addition, an argument is made that the absence of operator intraprocedural tactile feedback could lead to visceral and vascular injuries.
Ongoing research and development efforts are necessary to address these challenges.
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