In this video, you can see a tumor that has been identified by CT (Computed Tomography) or MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) being removed with robotic assisted surgery.
The mediastinum is a space in the chest that is divided into different sections, where tumors can occur. In the video, the first x-ray image shows this abnormal growth in the back of the chest (posterior mediastinum). Traditionally, these tumors would have been removed by opening the patient's chest by making an incision (cut) between the patients ribs, spreading the patient's ribs and removing the tumor under direct vision. This is very safe, but the incision is very uncomfortable and it takes a few weeks to recover.
The video shows the tumor being removed using robotic video assistance. The team of surgeons have placed small incisions, instead of the traditional single large one. Through these incisions they have introduced a video camera, as well as robotic arms which have the necessary tools. The robot arms and tools are completely controlled by the surgeon. The robot and the video tools allow the surgical team to see inside and explore the chest cavity, and safely remove the tumor without resorting to a large incision.
At the end of the video the surgical team shows you the small incisions that were used to do the procedure. The black, pencil-like device is a robotic arm that is controlled by one of the surgeons. USC is currently using the robot to facilitate several different kinds of surgeries, including valve repair, coronary artery bypass, and a variety of lung procedures.