Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the most common pathology afflicting ageing men. The gold standard for the surgical treatment of BPH is transurethral resection of the prostate. The laser-assisted transurethral surgical treatment of BPH is recently emerging as a valid clinical alternative. Despite this, there are still some issues that hinder the outcome of laser surgery, e.g., distal dexterity is strongly reduced by the current endoscopic instrumentation and contact between laser and prostatic tissue cannot be monitored and optimized. This paper presents a novel robotic platform for laser-assisted transurethral surgery of BPH. The system, designed to be compatible with the traditional endoscopic instrumentation, is composed of a catheter-like robot provided with a fiber optic-based sensing system and a cable-driven actuation mechanism. The sensing system allows contact monitoring between the laser and the hypertrophic tissue. The actuation mechanism allows steering of the laser fiber inside the prostatic urethra of the patient, when contact must be reached. The design of the proposed robotic platform along with its preliminary testing and evaluation is presented in this paper. The actuation mechanism is tested in in vitro experiments to prove laser steering performances according to the clinical requirements. The sensing system is calibrated in experiments aimed to evaluate the capability of discriminating the contact forces, between the laser tip and the prostatic tissue, from the pulling forces exerted on the cables, during laser steering. These results have been validated demonstrating the robot's capability of detecting sub-Newton contact forces even in combination with actuation.
|Titolo:||A novel robotic platform for laser-assisted transurethral surgery of the prostate|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo su Rivista/Article|