A team from England assessed the introduction of a robotic camera assistant (EndoAssist) to clinical practice.
EndoAssist is a robotic camera-holding device controlled by the operator's head movements.
A total of 93 patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy were included in the trial.
They were randomized to have either the robotic (n = 40) or a human (n = 46) assistant.
Of the patients, 7 converted to open operation were excluded.
Six surgeons were evaluated.
| Operating time reduced with EndoAssist.
| Surgical Endoscopy |
The mean operating time was found to be less using the robotic assistant (66 min) than with human assistance (74 min).
The learning curves for operating time showed that within 3 operations, surgeons were trained in using the robot.
The investigators also discovered that the device was safe in use.
Author S. Aiono, of the Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, concluded on behalf of the group, "The EndoAssist operating device is a significant asset in laparoscopic surgery and a suitable substitute for a human assistant.
"Surgeons became competent in the use of the robot within 3 operations.
"The robot offers stability and good control of the television image in laparoscopic surgery."