Objective: To introduce a new telesurgical concept and system, we describe the TELELAP Alf-X system and report the results of the preliminary laboratory experiments on dry lab skill exercises.
Methods: The TELELAP Alf-X system offers a novel approach to remotely operated 3-dimension endoscopy by adding haptic sensation, an eye-tracking system, and a high degree of configuration versatility. The Alf-X system consists of a remote control unit, manipulator arms, connection node, and reusable endoscopic instruments. To test the hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity, depth offield, and ability to make optimal sutures and knots, the Alf-X system was used in a laparoscopic trainer utilizing specific tools by a single surgeon (SG) who repeated three different exercises ten times. The time and accuracy of the exercises were recorded.
Results: By using the TELELAP Alf-X system, the surgeon was able to work repeatedly and to perform all the exercises scheduled. In all exercises, the best results were achieved after the first five cases.
Conclusion: The TELELAP Alf-X system shows excellent stability, easy-to-use interface, and ability to perform essential endoscopic skills. Further experimentation, especially in live tissue, could identify the role of this new technology for the surgical repertoire.