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Engineering the surgical imagination

John A Cartmill and David Butt
Med J Aust 2012; 196 (8): 497. || doi: 10.5694/mja12.10621
Published online: 7 May 2012

John Cartmill and David Butt discuss how surgery might change with robot-like enhancements to surgeons’ capabilities

The advent of the surgical “robot”, exemplified by the da Vinci Surgical System (Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, Calif, USA), brings fresh approaches, possibilities and questions to the field of surgery. Because of their capacity to augment dexterity, strength, coordination and vision, machines like da Vinci will take surgeons beyond their current level of shared experience and vocabulary. They force us to reconceptualise operating as surgeons currently appreciate it.

  • John A Cartmill
  • David Butt


Correspondence: john.cartmill@mq.edu.au

Competing interests:

John Cartmill has not received payment for these views. He travelled to South Korea to train on the da Vinci robot at his own expense and intends to use the device in his practice of colorectal surgery.

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