To date, the use of robotic systems has concentrated on enhancing the dexterity of the individual surgeon performing advanced laparoscopic surgery.
In this study, investigators from the United States assess using a robotic system as a surgical first assistant to enable the performance of solo surgery in increasingly complex procedures.
The team evaluated 10 patients with GERD who underwent laparoscopic antireflux surgery where the Zeus Robotic Surgical System performed the function of the surgical assistant.
Of the 10 operations, the team found that 8 were performed completely without the need or use of any human assistance.
|There were no adverse events.|
|Journal of the American College of Surgeons|
The setup of the robotic system averaged 28 minutes per patient, and operative times ranged from 68 to 155 minutes.
The investigators did not find any adverse events in the perioperative period.
All patients were discharged the day after the procedure without any complications.
Dr Todd Drasin and colleagues concluded, "Robotic assistance to facilitate solo surgery in advanced laparoscopic procedures appears to be a feasible and safe technique."
"More importantly, this experience seems to demonstrate a potential for the Zeus robotic system for telementoring applications."
"Given a real-time communication system, a distant mentor could manipulate the robotic arms and guide a local, novice laparoscopic surgeon through an advanced procedure."
"Additional instrumentation must be available and more study is needed to quantify the clinical usefulness, safety, and efficacy of this new tool."