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Akhil Madhani, Surgical Robot Inventor
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Madhani and robotic surgery apparatus

Madhini demonstrating his rotobic surgery apparatus

The Work of Akhil Madhani

Madhani was inspired to create the Black Falcon after watching his father perform heart surgery.

“[I asked myself] What if you could do heart surgery without making that big hole in [a patient’s] chest? What if you could make something that went in between the ribs, so that you didn’t have to break any ribs at all?”

Madhani had to test his idea, but he couldn’t practice on people, of course. So he practiced remote-controlled surgery on a chicken from the grocery store.

Sitting at a console and watching a monitor that magnifies the images of the patient’s organs, the doctor uses a joystick to manipulate a tiny “hand” inside the body, cutting and grafting arteries, making very small sutures, and tying knots.

Recovery is potentially quicker and less painful than after traditional surgery, since the patient has only two small incisions--one for the tiny camera and one for the robotic hand--instead of a large incision and cracked ribs that must heal after the operation. Surgeons can also hold their arms and hands in more comfortable positions, cutting down on fatigue.

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