“Robotic laparoscopic surgery: cost and training.”
Amodeo, A., A. Linares Quevedo, et al. (2009).
Minerva urologica e nefrologica = The Italian journal of urology and nephrology 61(2): 121-8.
The advantages of minimally invasive surgery are well accepted. Shorter hospital stays, decreased postoperative pain, rapid return to preoperative activity, decreased postoperative ileus, and preserved immune function are among the benefits of the laparoscopic approach. However, the instruments of laparoscopy afford surgeons limited precision and poor ergonomics, and their use is associated with a significant learning curve and the amount of time and energy necessary to develop and maintain such advanced laparoscopic skills is not insignificant. The robotic surgery allows all laparoscopists to perform advanced laparoscopic procedures with greater ease. The potential advantages of surgical robotic systems include making advanced laparoscopic surgical procedures accessible to surgeons who do not have advanced video endoscopic training and broadening the scope of surgical procedures that can be performed using the laparoscopic method. The wristed instruments, x10 magnifications, tremor filtering, scaling of movements and three-dimensional view allow the urologist to perform the intricate dissection and anastomosis with high precision. The robot is not, however, without significant disadvantages as compared with traditional laparoscopy. These include greater expense and consumption of operating room resources such as space and the availability of skilled technical staff, complete elimination of tactile feedback, and more limited options for trocar placement. The current cost of the da Vinci system is $ 1.2 million and annual maintenance is $ 138000. Many studies suggest that depreciation and maintenance costs can be minimised if the number of robotic cases is increased. The high cost of purchasing and maintaining the instruments of the robotic system is one of its many disadvantages. The availability of the robotic systems to only a limited number of centres reduces surgical training opportunities. Hospital administrators and surgeons must define the reasons for developing a robotic surgical program: it is very important to show that robotics will add a dimension that will benefit the hospital, the patient care and institutional recognition. Another essential task to overcome is the important education of the operating room nursing staff, a significant difference between this modality and traditional surgery. Without operating room environment support, most surgeons will revert to traditional methods even after a few successful robotics cases. As the field of robotic surgery continues to grow, graduate medical education and continuing medical education programs that address the surgical robotic learning needs of residents and practicing surgeons need to be developed.
“Impact of IQ, computer-gaming skills, general dexterity, and laparoscopic experience on performance with the da Vinci((R)) surgical system.”
Hagen, M. E., O. J. Wagner, et al. (2009).
The international journal of medical robotics + computer assisted surgery : MRCAS.
BACKGROUND: Due to improved ergonomics and dexterity, robotic surgery is promoted as being easily performed by surgeons with no special skills necessary. We tested this hypothesis by measuring IQ elements, computer gaming skills, general dexterity with chopsticks, and evaluating laparoscopic experience in correlation to performance ability with the da Vinci((R)) robot. METHODS: Thirty-four individuals were tested for robotic dexterity, IQ elements, computer-gaming skills and general dexterity. Eighteen surgically inexperienced and 16 laparoscopically trained surgeons were included. Each individual performed three different tasks with the da Vinci surgical system and their times were recorded. An IQ test (elements: logical thinking, 3D imagination and technical understanding) was completed by each participant. Computer skills were tested with a simple computer game (hand-eye coordination) and general dexterity was evaluated by the ability to use chopsticks. RESULTS: We found no correlation between logical thinking, 3D imagination and robotic skills. Both computer gaming and general dexterity showed a slight but non-significant improvement in performance with the da Vinci robot (p > 0.05). A significant correlation between robotic skills, technical understanding and laparoscopic experience was observed (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The data support the conclusion that there are no significant correlations between robotic performance and logical thinking, 3D understanding, computer gaming skills and general dexterity. A correlation between robotic skills and technical understanding may exist. Laparoscopic experience seems to be the strongest predictor of performance with the da Vinci surgical system. Generally, it appears difficult to determine non-surgical predictors for robotic surgery. Copyright (c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.