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[Health] Doctor robot at local hospital awaits patients
Latest Updated by 2006-12-06 09:00:50

THE Shenzhen People's Hospital's resident robot surgeon, which has performed more than 80 operations since joining the hospital staff in 2002, is awaiting more patients.


Zeus, the first and only robot surgeon on the mainland, became a minor celebrity in April, 2002, after performing a gall bladder operation under the guidance of Zhou Hanxin, head of the Shenzhen People's Hospital.


Since then the robot surgeon has excelled in liver and gall surgeries and urinary surgeries in the hospital. "About two percent of such surgeries were made by Zeus, which is pretty good for a burgeoning medical technology," said Dr. Yu Xiaofang, director of the liver and gall department of the hospital.


Zeus conducted its last operation at the end of last year.


However, the hospital cannot find a way to promote the cutting-edge technology, as the robot is expensive. Priced at US$1 million, with annual maintenance costing US$100,000, the hospital said it loses 5,000 yuan (US$400) in each operation.


Yu said he often suggests suitable patients undergo robot surgery. Most patients show great interest in it. "Very few people look at it apprehensively," he said.


So far the surgeries carried out by Zeus have been all successful according to the hospital.


Zhang Shuiping, the son of 50-year-old Yang Zhonghua, who underwent gall bladder removal two years ago, said they believed in the technology and were at ease with surgery done by a robot.


Editor: Wing

By: Source:Szdaily web edition
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