Surgeons are now being assisted by robotic systems in a wide range of laparoscopic procedures.
Furthermore, some reports have suggested that robot-assisted camera control (RACC) may be superior to a human driver, in terms of quality of view and directional precision.
It may also represent long-term cost savings.
| Operative times were slightly longer with robot-assisted camera control.|
In this study, researchers from Texas, USA, sought to investigate the impact of RACC of surgeon motion efficiency.
The research team randomized 20 pigs to undergo a standardized laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication, using either a human or RACC system - the AESOP 2000.
All procedures were performed by the same surgical fellow.
The researchers recorded the time taken for dissection and suture phases of the procedure.
They also used inertial motion sensors to monitor both the surgeon's hands and the camera.
Finally, digitized data were analyzed to produce summary measures related to overall motion.
The researcher team determined that operative times were slightly longer with RACC, however these were not statistically significant.
Furthermore, with regard to operative times and surgeon motion measures, the only significant differences were for setup and breakdown times. These contributed <15% to the total procedure time.
Dr Kondraske’s team concluded, “In terms of impact on surgeon motion efficiency and operative time under normal surgical conditions, RACC is essentially the same as an expert human driver”.
“However, careful planning and structuring of the surgical suite may yield some small gains in operative time”.