Robot-assisted anterior lumbar interbody fusion in a swine model in vivo test of the da vinci surgical-assisted spinal surgery system

Moon Sool Yang, Do Heum Yoon, Keung Nyun Kim, Hoon Kim, Joong Won Yang, Seong Yi, John Y.K. Lee, Woo Ju Jung, Koon Ho Rha, Yoon Ha

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Study Design.: The use of the da Vinci Surgical System to perform an anterior lumbar interbody fusion in a swine model to identify the technical properties, processes, merits, demerits, and limitations of a video-assisted robotic surgical system. Objective.: This study was designed to demonstrate the feasibility of using a robotic surgical system to perform spinal surgery. Summary of Background Data.: Video-assisted laparoscopic anterior fusion was first reported in 1995 and afterward was spotlighted for several years. However, this technique has not become popular because of technical difficulties and complications associated with video-assisted procedures on the spine. As such, there is a demand for investigations to improve this technology. The da Vinci Surgical System provides 3-dimensional visualization as well as uniquely dexterous instruments that are remarkably similar to human hands. Video-assisted surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System robot has already provided great value to the fields of urology, cardiology, gynecology, and general surgery over the last decade. Preclinical studies for application of this system in spinal surgery have recently been conducted. Methods.: A pig underwent anterior lumbar interbody fusion using da Vinci Surgical System assistance, with Tyche expandable cages used for preparation of endplates and cage placement. The setup time, operation time, amount of bleeding, and the number of complications associated with robotic manipulation were recorded. Before euthanasia, the animal underwent radiologic examination to confirm proper placement of cages. Results.: The total duration of the procedure took 6 hours, with some complications related to frozen armsand robotic arm collision. Even so, there was neither any significant nerve or vessel injury nor peritoneal organ damage. Furthermore, radiologic assessment confirmed proper position of the cage in the center of the disc space. Conclusion.: Use of the da Vinci Surgical System to perform an anterior spinal procedure was shown to be safe and effective in a swine animal model. The utilization of this advanced technology shows promise to reduce the incidence of complications compared with other approaches. It requires further testing in animal models and cadavers, along with serial comparisons to current procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E139-E143
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan 15


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

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