Within ten years some doctors and scientists are predicting that all surgery could be scarless.
They say by using the natural orifices of the body and the body’s own natural scar the belly-button (or umbilicus), it will be possible to insert robots into the body which can help perform every surgical procedure.
It sounds fantastical, but prototypes are already in existence that can crawl and swim inside the body taking pictures of difficult to access areas.
There are particularly big hopes for Ares (Assembling Reconfigurable Endoluminal Surgical System), developed by Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy, with the support of the European Commission.
This is a robot that will self assemble inside the body, after the patient has swallowed up to 15 separate parts, and then aid the surgeon to carry out procedures.
By operating from inside the body, surgeons could avoid external incisions, minimising pain and shortening recovery time for the patient.
In many areas surgeons are already using robots for their daily surgical work.