Canada’s Governor General Julie Payette tested a robot arm used in surgeries at the University of Calgary’s campus at Foothills Hospital on Wednesday.

Payette visited the university’s NeuroArm lab to learn more about the surgery robotics work of Doctor Garnette Sutherland, the university’s professor of neurosurgery, and his team.

“As a doctor with this kind of training, once you do it a number of times do you know exactly what kind of pressure you put on the robot?” Payette asked Sutherland during the tour.

Which was answered with a nod from Sutherland.

“That’s what I’m saying, it’s more efficient,” Payette said.

Sanju Lama, the clinical integration specialist for project NeuroArm, said the Symbis robot in the lab is the second generation of surgery robots and is still being tested despite having FDA approval.

“The first generation is in the operating room and still performs clinical operations,” said Lama.

The Symbis is a robotic arm that is controlled by a surgeon in an adjacent room. Having no personnel in the operating room allows for more screening of the patient without interrupting the flow of the surgery.

“Because imaging interrupts the rhythm of an operation because we have to stop the operation, the patient has to be draped, everybody comes out for the scan. You cannot proceed with the surgery in the same flow,” said Lama.

Earlier in the day, Payette visited Robert Thirsk High School to answer questions from students.

Payette will also be visiting Winsport this afternoon to finish her brief tour of Calgary.

sbabych@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @BabychStephanie

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Source:: Calgary Herald

      

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