World first 5G remote surgery for Shanghai Xuhui District Hospital

5G abstract

Shanghai Xuhui District Central Hospital in China has completed the world's first focused ultrasound surgery (FUS) remotely accomplished through a 5G network

The surgery was carried out in the operating room of the hospital, while the surgical equipment was operated from the Shanghai International Medical Center (SIMC), 30 kilometres away. “In the past, I had to sit next to the patients and closely observe their responses while performing the operations, but with the help of 5G, which assures smooth communication, I can perform the operations hundreds of kilometers away from the patients,” said Xu Yonghua, Chair of the Department of Imaging and Interventional Radiology at Shanghai Xuhui District Central Hospital, who conducted the surgery earlier this month.

Under the guide of type-B ultrasound, the doctor used a computer to remotely control the surgical equipment, which employs high intensity, focused ultrasound pulses to destroy diseased tissue of tumors or lesions inside a patient's body. As a non-invasive surgical option that does not require making incisions into a patient’s body, no anaesthesia is needed; there is no scarring or bleeding, and the practise only causes the patient mild pain or discomfort. As such, the surgery boasts quick recovery times, as the organs and tissue are kept intact in the process. 

However, this accomplishment is only achievable using 5G technology; because of the latency of 4G networks, mistakes can occur if the patient even slightly moves their body while breathing. "We require absolute precision in our surgery and avoid damaging normal tissue and organs," added Xu.