Remote and accurate telemanipulation of intracavity instruments by general and cardiac surgeons is now possible.
However, the complex technologic advancements in surgical robotics require well-designed training programs.
Efficient robotic surgical procedures must also be developed methodically and safely implemented clinically.
In response to this, a team from the Center for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery, at East Carolina University, North Carolina, USA, has developed a training program for teaching the particular skills required for this type of surgery.
The team, whose center is the first in the United States to train surgeons formally in clinical robotics, has published details of this program in the October issue of Annals of Surgery.
|52 robotically-assisted operations were performed.
| Annals of Surgery |
In the report, Dr W. Randolph Chitwood Jr. and his fellow authors describe their efforts in implementing a multispeciality robotic surgery training curriculum for both surgeons and surgical teams.
In addition, they detail robotic procedure development and clinical applications for mitral valve, biliary, and gastric reflux operations.
The authors' two "da Vinci" robotic systems were dedicated to procedure development, clinical surgery, and training of surgical specialists.
In doing so, advanced training on robotic systems was given to both established surgeons and 30 multispeciality teams, to provide confidence when operating in tiny intracavity spaces.
The necessary three-dimensional vision and articulated instrument control required for such operations was developed, as well as giving training in robotic mechanics and electronics.
In the past year the authors performed 52 robotic-assisted clinical operations, including 18 mitral valve repairs, 20 cholecystectomies, and 14 Nissen fundoplications.
These respective operations required 108, 28, and 73 minutes of robotic telemanipulation to complete.
Procedure times for the last half of the abdominal operations decreased significantly, with no deaths and few complications in patients undergoing robotic surgical procedures.
The authors conclude their paper by claiming that robotic surgery can be performed safely, with excellent results.
They add, that with the development of an effective curriculum for training teams in robotic surgery, and following this appropriate training, surgeons have applied these methods effectively and safely.