To assess the clinical usefulness, accuracy, and safety of telemanipulation for frameless stereotactic surgery using the CAS-BH5 robot system, we prospectively evaluated 10 patients (age: 5–79 years; mean: 44 years) who underwent telemanipulation frameless stereotactic operations from September to December 2005. The CAS-BH5 robot system consists of three main parts: a planning subsystem, a surgical localization subsystem, and a telemanipulation subsystem. Specifically, CAS-BH5 is capable of network communication, video transmission, graphic simulation and human-machine interaction, and thus facilitates remote planning and transmission of neuronavigation data, monitoring and manipulating. Telemanipulation was performed via a digital data network with a speed of 2,000 kilobytes per second by a neurosurgeon in Beijing while the patients were located in Yan’an, 1,300 km away. Remote fiducial registration was performed with a mean accuracy of 1.05 mm and the standard difference between the planned and actual trajectory was 0.13 mm. The mean time from fiducial registration to closure was 30.2 ± 1.66 min. At 12-month follow-up, 90% of patients had improved neurologically. There were no complications. This preliminary data indicates that telemanipulation in frameless stereotactic surgeries is feasible, reliable and safe. In the future, we believe that telemanipulation will facilitate collaboration between surgeons, enhance training, allow for sharing of resources, and have wide applications in the field of neurosurgery.
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