A group of British medical experts have carried out the world''s first operation using a robot to repair a condition that kills 7,000 people a year.
The condition, called an abdominal aortic aneurysm, involves a key artery that pumps blood around the body from the heart weakening and swelling and can go undetected until the section bursts, which is often fatal.
The team at St Mary''s Hospital in central London, have carried out the first operation to repair an aneurysm using a 400,000 pounds worth robot.
The new technique will reduce the operating time, add extra precision and allow more complex cases to be attempted.
If extended across the whole country the robotic repair would mean an extra 10,000 to 20,000 patients could have their aneuryms treated, reports Telegraph.
The operation can involve opening the stomach and manually replacing the ballooned section of blood vessel but this can be dangerous and 5 per cent of patients die within a month afterwards.
In the operation, Dr Mo Hamady, Consultant Interventional Radiologist, used a monitor and joystick to control a robotic arm attached to the tube with a sensor on the end.
Using x-ray images constantly taken of the patient, the ends of the stents can be joined exactly.
The team also included Miss Celia Riga, Vascular Fellow and Robotics Vascular Research Lead, Mr Colin Bicknell, Vascular Surgeon and Professor Nick Cheshire, Consultant Vascular Surgeon and Clinical Programme Director of Circulation Sciences and Renal Medicine at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs St Mary''s Hospital.