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CURED.. BY ROBODOC; EXCLUSIVE pounds 1m computer performs op on Jack.


JUMPING Jack Bent is leaping for joy after becoming one of the first kids in the country to be operated on by a ROBOT.

And now delighted medics are hailing the new "robodoc" as the future of modern surgery after the six-year-old schoolboy's amazing recovery.

Brave Jack underwent a 10-hour op to repair a damaged kidney, but because the surgery was so precise he was allowed home in days instead of weeks.

His mum Helen, 35, said last night: "Seeing him jump around like any other six year old boy is just a dream come true.

"He has been showing off his war wounds and telling everyone that a robot did it to him.

"But this machine is certainly no futuristic terminator - it is going to save many lives."

The pounds 1.2million device, known as the Da Vinci machine, has four claw-like arms that are inserted into a patient's body.

Cameras beam back their position via a computer to a surgeon whose finger movements are mirrored by the machine.

But not only does robodoc follow the surgeon's moves - it improves on them, eliminating the natural tremors in the doctor's hands and wrists.

Jack, who lives in Leeds, had his op at the city's St James Children's Hospital two months ago.

Since then several other children suffering serious organ problems have been treated successfully by robodoc.

Lead surgeon Azad Majmaldin said: "This is the future of surgery. In years to come all operations will be done like this

"The benefits are tremendous - less chance of infection, less scarring, more accuracy and precision. The patients get better quicker and go home sooner."

He added: "Before, to do certain operations on the chest, we would have to break the ribs.

"Now the robot will allow us to operate between them. It is far less invasive.

"And it's very surgeon-friendly, too. In lengthy operations you could even take a break. I could even have a sandwich or a drink while I was doing it."


LEAPS & BOUNDS: Jack in high spirits Picture: ROSS PARRY' CUTTING EDGE: Claws enter patient's body' PRECISE: Surgeon at the remote controls' SMILES BETTER: Jack and his mum Helen
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Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:May 28, 2006
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