Objective To prospectively evaluate the feasibility and safety of a novel, second-generation telementoring interface (Connect™; Intuitive Surgical Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, USA) for the da Vinci robot. Materials and Methods Robotic surgery trainees were mentored during portions of robot-assisted prostatectomy and renal surgery cases. Cases were assigned as traditional in-room mentoring or remote mentoring using Connect. While viewing two-dimensional, real-time video of the surgical field, remote mentors delivered verbal and visual counsel, using two-way audio and telestration (drawing) capabilities. Perioperative and technical data were recorded. Trainee robotic performance was rated using a validated assessment tool by both mentors and trainees. The mentoring interface was rated using a multi-factorial Likert-based survey. The Mann-Whitney and t-tests were used to determine statistical differences. Results We enrolled 55 mentored surgical cases (29 in-room, 26 remote). Perioperative variables of operative time and blood loss were similar between in-room and remote mentored cases. Robotic skills assessment showed no significant difference (P > 0.05). Mentors preferred remote over in-room telestration (P = 0.05); otherwise no significant difference existed in evaluation of the interfaces. Remote cases using wired (vs wireless) connections had lower latency and better data transfer (P = 0.005). Three of 18 (17%) wireless sessions were disrupted; one was converted to wired, one continued after restarting Connect, and the third was aborted. A bipolar injury to the colon occurred during one (3%) in-room mentored case; no intraoperative injuries were reported during remote sessions. Conclusion In a tightly controlled environment, the Connect interface allows trainee robotic surgeons to be telementored in a safe and effective manner while performing basic surgical techniques. Significant steps remain prior to widespread use of this technology.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - Aug 1 2015|
- minimally invasive
- training techniques
ASJC Scopus subject areas