Medical Tech

The Future Role of AI in Complicated Surgeries


The Future Role of AI in Complicated Surgeries

Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are changing how surgeons operate on the human body. AI and human intelligence, working together, make great strides in the success of many surgeries. According to Grand View Research, the artificial intelligence surgical robots market will expand upwards of 17 percent through 2028. The following are several complex surgeries and how artificial intelligence can help make them safer and more successful.

Cardiac Surgery

Almost any surgery involving the heart and the surrounding arteries and veins is risky and complex. Artificial intelligence can assist in making the surgical process as flawless as possible. The National Institutes of Health states that robotic technology will soon routinely become part of many surgeries, including coronary bypass. Miniature robots are now capable of mapping the area that surrounds the heart.


AI and human intelligence merge together to analyze diverse sources of information. Taking into account a patient’s anatomy, a patient’s medical history, and a variety of risk factors, decisions are made regarding specific surgical procedures and treatment options. For example, AI deep learning models may provide a road map for surgical teams to follow for each specific patient after analyzing all the person’s data. Algorithms may even prescribe an operative score relating to risks for particular procedures.

ENT Surgery

The ears, nose, and throat are small, complicated areas of the body that are often difficult for human hands to maneuver through. Many people who suffer from various ailments in these particular areas may benefit from the use of artificial intelligence when undergoing certain surgical procedures. According to PR Newswire, 20 percent of individuals with chronic sinusitis don’t respond well to medication and will eventually require surgery.


The TruDi® Navigation System implements machine learning and algorithms to provide image-guided preoperative planning for ENT surgeries. This enables efficient and reliable navigation for sinus surgery. The software provides real-time, three-dimensional guidance that includes anatomical mapping and insights that assist surgeons throughout the procedure.

Ophthalmology Surgery

Our eyes are small yet one of the most complex organs in the body. AI and human intelligence are now making great strides in completing detailed surgeries on the eye. Robotics will soon change the way surgeons can perform delicate surgery on specific areas of the eyes, such as the retina.


The UT Southwestern Medical Center states that AI in conjunction with virtual reality can improve how surgeons perform cataract operations. Wearing 3D glasses that are similar to what individuals use when watching a 3D movie, the surgeon can see the eye three-dimensionally on a large screen. This improves the depth of vision and provides better focus during the surgery.


LASIK surgery is another example of how AI is helping advance an already high-tech procedure. LASIK is still relatively new, and several complications can occur during and after the procedure. A few problems might include dry eyes, problems with glare, and over and under correction. Astigmatism and even vision loss can occur. One of the newest advancements in AI involves AI-led ray tracing. This approach provides more efficiency, greater customization, and more predictable outcomes.

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Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedics is the branch of medicine that involves the musculoskeletal system. Surgeons will often operate on the bones, muscles, and ligaments after an individual experiences a traumatic accident or a degenerative health condition. Reconstruction of joints, spinal surgery, and hip replacements are complex and often difficult surgeries. AI is already assisting in producing better outcomes for patients.


One example is the advancements that are occurring in the area of joint replacement. According to the Joint Preservation Institute, there are several specific ways AI and human intelligence are coming together to improve positive outcomes for complicated surgeries.

  • Deep Learning can personalize patient treatment and care.
  • AI is helping to bring high-quality orthopedic surgical care to lower resource areas.
  • Robotic-assisted surgeries are increasingly reducing post-operative complications.
  • AI is allowing for smaller incisions which can promote faster healing.
  • Hip replacements using robotic technology are up to four times more accurate than conventional methods.

Organ Transplants

Organ transplants are some of the most complex surgeries. Everything from the heart and lungs to the intestines is now routinely part of various transplant procedures. The difficulties begin long before a patient enters the operating room. There is the difficulty of finding a suitable donor. There is also the challenge of predicting whether an individual’s body will receive or reject the new organ. While transplanting organs is not new, making sure they are as successful as possible with the assistance of AI is cutting-edge technology.


AI is not only helping with the actual transplant but is increasingly predicting kidney graft survival rates with the use of machine learning. AI is also advancing the use of biomarkers to personalize immunosuppression regimens that can improve patient outcomes. Future scenarios will likely include using AI to systematically integrate all of a patient’s data and medical history.

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Spinal Surgery

The spinal area is extremely delicate. Detailed precision is necessary for a successful outcome. One of the more complicated spinal surgeries is pedicle screw insertion. Surgeons often use this in conjunction with spinal fusion surgery. This type of procedure is for securing vertebrae. Pedicle screws add extra support to the fusion. If the screws loosen, the pain in the back may increase.


Robotic navigation is already in use during these types of delicate surgeries. Using robotic pedicle screw insertion techniques, accuracy rates are between 94.5 percent and 99 percent. After aligning the robotic arm into an already determined trajectory, surgical instrumentation can more accurately perform the surgery. This type of technology is currently in the beginning stages. Continuing advancements will allow customizable approaches for individual patients, the ability to edit and change screw thickness, and implement 3D imaging and navigation technology that will assist with the surgeries.


As surgeries become more complex, artificial intelligence will continue to merge with medicine to increase accuracy, efficiency, and recovery times. AI and human intelligence can improve risky procedures such as spinal surgery, organ transplantation, and delicate eye procedures.


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