A video of banana surgery has gone viral: could 5G be the future of healthcare?

What’s more surprising? A banana undergoing surgery or the fact we now have the technology to perform medical procedures remotely from over 5,000 miles apart? 

A video from 2020 has recently re-emerged, reminding us that both these scenarios have indeed happened. 

In the clip, we see a surgeon performing surgery on a banana in California, from his computer in London. Yes, you read that correctly. 

The user ‘KaisTheSurgeon’ first shared the video on Instagram to demonstrate how a scalpel can be used remotely on patients (in this case, a banana) using robotics and 5G.

While 5G has played a major role in the effectiveness of ‘telesurgery’, it isn’t necessarily a new concept. 

It is believed that the ‘Lindberg Operation’ was one of the first telerobotic surgeries to take place. This was a procedure performed on a patient in France which was conducted by a team of surgeons based in New York in September 2007. 

Powered by a high-speed fibre optic service, the cholecystectomy took 45 minutes to complete and was a complete success. 

This marked a significant turning point for modern medicine and the affordabilities created by cutting-edge technology. 

Over the last 14 years, more than 1.75 million robotic procedures have taken place in the United States alone. The question is: will telesurgery become the new norm? 

Considering the benefits below, it is definitely a possibility: 

  • Increased access to healthcare without the need for travel.
  • Reduced chance of human error (i.e. robot hands don’t shake!).
  • Mitigates risk of viral infection (robots can’t pass on germs!). 
  • Minimal invasive surgery – robotic surgery is usually performed using small incisions).
  • Provides a staffing solution for hospitals needing cover/specialist knowledge. 

Overall, it is clear that there are many exciting possibilities for the future of orthopaedic surgery and Amaré is excited to see where telesurgery will take us next!

On that note, why not check out our healthcare vacancies? Who knows, you might be operating on pineapples in your next role…