The "tele" factor in surgery today and tomorrow: implications for surgical training and education

Surg Today. 2013 Feb;43(2):115-22. doi: 10.1007/s00595-012-0267-9. Epub 2012 Jul 27.


New technological developments in the field of telecommunications have allowed a wide range of potentially novel surgical applications. The introduction of the World Wide Web in 1991 has been followed by a steep rise of the relevance of telemedicine, as it is witnessed in the latest scientific literature. There has been a consistent, positive trend in publications dealing, respectively, with telemedicine and the Internet. This article reviews telemedicine and other surgery-related innovations that benefit from telecommunication advances, and presents data from a quantitative bibliographic analysis. A number of applications, such as telementoring, teleproctoring and robotic telesurgery are described and their huge potentials are discussed. The integration between surgery and telecommunications could constitute one of the major achievements of modern medicine, and its safe integration into clinical practice should be a priority for modern surgeons.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bibliometrics
  • General Surgery / education
  • General Surgery / methods*
  • General Surgery / trends
  • Internet
  • Mentors
  • Periodicals as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Robotics
  • Telemedicine / methods
  • Telemedicine / trends*
  • Videoconferencing