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5G-Enabled Robotic Surgery Ushers in New Era in Gastric Cancer Treatment

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 27 Feb 2024
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Image: Network configuration and remote surgery platform (Photo courtesy of Qun Zhao, et al.,)
Image: Network configuration and remote surgery platform (Photo courtesy of Qun Zhao, et al.,)

Gastric cancer ranks as the fifth most prevalent cancer in the world and is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths. This alarming statistic highlights the critical need for innovative advancements in cancer care, especially considering the significant disparities in access to diagnostic and treatment facilities in remote and underserved regions. In a groundbreaking development, researchers have successfully performed the first robot-assisted remote radical distal gastrectomy using 5G communication technology. Although the efficacy of 5G technology has been proven in other medical specialties like urology and orthopedics, its application in gastric surgery has been confined to preclinical trials involving animals and cadavers until now.

The pioneering procedure was conducted at the Third Department of Surgery, the Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical University (Shijiazhuang, China) on a 51-year-old patient diagnosed with stage T2N0M0 gastric cancer, using the Tuomai four-arm laparoscopic robotic surgery system. The surgery demonstrated remarkable outcomes, including negligible intraoperative delays and zero packet loss, demonstrating the immense potential of 5G technology in enhancing remote surgical procedures. The patient’s rapid and complication-free recovery further confirmed the safety and efficacy of this novel procedure.

“This is the initial clinical experience of this new technology, and preliminarily verified the feasibility and safety,” said Professor Zhao, lead researcher of the study. “We believe that the findings from this study lay a solid foundation for the future of telemedicine in treating patients with gastric cancer.”

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