Current applications and future perspectives of robotics in cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgery
Advances in robotic medicine have been adopted by various surgical subspecialties as the benefits of this technology become more readily apparent: precision in narrow operative windows, tremor controlled movements, and modestly improved outcomes, among others. Vascular neurosurgery, in particular, remains open to newer and more cutting edge treatment options for complex pathologies, and robotics may be on the horizon for such advances. We seek to provide a broad overview of these innovations in vascular neurosurgery for both practitioners well acquainted with robotics and those seeking to become more familiar. Technologies under development for cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgery include robot assisted angiography, guided operative microscopes, coil insertion systems, and endoscopic clipping devices. Additionally, robotic systems in the fields of interventional cardiology and radiology have potential applications to endovascular neurosurgery but require proper modifications to navigate complex intracerebral vasculature. Robotic technology is not without drawbacks, as broad implementation may lead to increased cost, training time, and potential delays in emergency situations. Further cultivation of current multidisciplinary technologies and investment into newer systems is necessary before robotics can make a sizable impact in clinical practice.