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Robotic thoracoscopy: intercostal nerves and phrenic nerve harvesting

Epublication WebSurg.com, Feb 2014;14(02). URL: http://websurg.com/doi/lt03enmiyamoto002

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  • 2014-02-05
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The aim of this study was to report the feasibility of robotic intercostal nerve harvesting in a pig model. A surgical robot (the da Vinci S® system, Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, CA) was installed with three ports on the pig’s left chest. The posterior edges of the 4th, 5th, and 6th intercostal nerves were isolated to the level of the anterior axillary line. The anterior edges of the nerves were transected at the rib cartilage zone. Three intercostal nerve harvests were successfully performed in 40 minutes without major complications. The advantages of robotic microsurgery for intercostal nerve harvesting are motion scaling up to 5 times, elimination of physiological tremors, and free movement of joint-equipped robotic arms. Robot-assisted neurolysis may be clinically useful for intercostal nerve harvesting for brachial plexus reconstruction.