Components of automated steering apparatus for controlling the trajectory of an ultrathin endoscope for fully automated bladder surveillance (Burkhardt, et al).
Due to the high recurrence rate of bladder cancer, frequent cystoscopic surveillance is required for patients following initial diagnosis. During examination, the urologist manipulates a cystoscope to thoroughly inspect the bladder wall. These procedures constitute a significant percentage of urologists’ work-load, making bladder cancer the most expensive cancer to treat over the patient’s lifetime .
The gold standard examination of the lower urinary tract consists of an optical examination of the bladder urothelium, the tissue layer lining the interior of the urinary tract, or cystoscopy. Long-term endoscopic follow-up in the bladder after treatment is crucial to guarantee early detection and treatment of cancer recurrence. However, while cystoscopy is the “gold standard” for a routine surveillance exam, it remains imperfect with various experimental studies demonstrating 4-10% missed bladder tumors by conventional cystoscopy [2-4]. To address these challenges research at the HPL has focused on the following developments:
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