Researchers have developed a robotic arm to conduct suturing during soft tissue surgery, which has the potential for improved patient safety due to a reduction in surgical errors and increased efficiency.

Suturing soft tissue can be challenging even for a skilled surgeon--the tissue can move and change shape in complex ways as stitching occurs, requiring the ability to keep sutures tightly and evenly placed. Not surprisingly, leakage along the seams is a significant problem in nearly 20 percent of colorectal surgeries and 25 to 30 percent of abdominal surgeries.

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