Stories about: robotics

Looking to the future: Robot-assisted surgery offers hope for Brendan

Brendan is back at the bowling alley after surgery for epilepsy

Brendan Randolph focuses on the lane in front of him, takes a few steps and lets the ball fly down the lane. He waits to see where it lands and then turns back, grinning with satisfaction: With all ten pins down, it’s a strike. Bowling is one of his favorite pastimes, and he’s thrilled to be back at it. That’s no small feat for this 17-year-old, who underwent brain surgery just a few months ago.

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Our patients’ stories: using medical robots at home

When you hear the word robot, which image comes to mind first?

Those of us raised on Star Wars and Buck Rogers are likely to identify with the first image, but physically speaking, the robots of today have more in common with your computer and microwave than a Hollywood android.

They may look less interesting than your favorite sci-fi film characters, but modern medical robots are still quite helpful. So much so that the Boston Globe recently ran a story about a pilot project that placed a medical robot created by VGo Communications in the home of the Tally family, whose 2 year-old son Aidan is recovering from surgery he received at Children’s Hospital Boston last month to treat his urinary reflux .

The VGo robot’s main function is videoconferencing, which connects the Ashland-based family to their doctors and nurses here in Boston. Operated by remote control from Children’s, the VGo robot lets medical professionals see and communicate with Aidan’s parents, take video and close-up photos of Aidan’s scars for medical review and figure out if the prescribed medication is doing its job.

And because videoconferencing appointments are easier to coordinate than hospital visits, the Tally family was able to check in with Aidan’s care team every three days, instead of waiting for their first post surgical appointment, scheduled for six weeks after his surgery.

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Heart week: A history of cardiovascular excellence

Children’s has been a leader in pediatric cardiovascular research and treatment for decades. Here’s a quick look at the innovation and success the hospital’s cardiovascular teams have brought to the field over the years.

stethoscope11938 Robert Gross, MD, performs the world’s first successful surgical procedure to correct a congenital cardiovascular defect.

operation11952 Robert Gross, MD, develops the first successful surgical closure of an atrial septal defect, a hole in the wall between the heart’s two upper chambers.

1983 William Norwood, MD, develops the first successful surgical intervention for hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a previously fatal defect in which an infant is born without a left ventricle. Since Norwood’s intervention, Children’s has been using the technique to better the lives of many children, like Sam Peerless, the baby with HLHS who was saved by Children’s doctors and featured in a recent episode of Boston Med.

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