Purpose: Telerobotic surgical systems attempt to provide technological solutions to the inherent limitations of traditional laparoscopic surgery. In this article, we present the first two reported cases of telerobotic-assisted laparoscopic colectomies performed on March 6 and 8, 2001.
Methods: In the first patient we performed a telerobotic-assisted laparoscopic sigmoid colectomy for diverticulitis. In the second patient, we accomplished a telerobotic-assisted laparoscopic right hemicolectomy for cecal diverticulitis. The Da Vinci telerobotic surgical system was used in both cases to mobilize the bowel. The mesenteric division, bowel transection, and anastomoses were accomplished with standard laparoscopic-assisted techniques. Both operations were completed with a three-trocar technique.
Results: We found that the Da Vinci system adequately replaced the camera holder. The three-dimensional virtual operative field helped to maintain the surgeon's orientation during the operation. The combination of three-dimensional imaging and the hand-like motions of the telerobotic surgical instruments facilitated dissection. The Da Vinci console offered an ergonomically comfortable position for the surgeon. Operative times for the sigmoid colectomy was 340 minutes and for the right hemicolectomy 228 minutes. Telerobotic-assisted laparoscopic colectomy is feasible, but required a longer operative time than our standard laparoscopic-assisted technique.
Conclusion: Telerobotic-assisted laparoscopic colectomy is feasible and warrants further investigations in controlled trials.