Experimental Robotic Pulmonary Lobectomy With the TELELAP/ALFX System in the Ovine Model

Surg Innov. 2015 Jun;22(3):252-6. doi: 10.1177/1553350614549633. Epub 2014 Sep 15.


A new robotic telesurgical device (TELELAP/ALFX) is used for the first time to execute an anatomical pulmonary resection (lobectomy) plus mediastinal lymph node dissection in the ovine model. This integrated operative system has 2 innovative peculiarities: (a) tactile perception (engineered to give the operator a tactile feedback similar to that experienced when handling thoracoscopy instruments) and (b) eye-tracking (immediate synchronization of the surgeon's eyes movements with that of the robotic camera). Herein, we report a lower right pulmonary lobectomy under complete robotic assistance (TELELAP/ALFX). Standard endoscopic staplers were used in all the major maneuvers (bronchial as well as vascular resections and fissural completion) introduced through a utility 4-cm-sized incision. The specimen was placed in an endoscopic retrieval bag and removed through a service minithoracotomy. With the limitations because of interspecies differences in anatomical landmarks, a mediastinal lymph nodal dissection was also completed. The operative time was acceptable (~180 minutes) with blood loss of 100 mL. In conclusion, according to this first all experimental experience we may deem the TELELAP/ALFX system completely apt to perform major anatomic pulmonary resections and the regulatory process to run trials in humans are under way.

Keywords: image-guided surgery; robotic surgery; surgical education.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Lung / surgery
  • Models, Biological
  • Pneumonectomy / instrumentation
  • Pneumonectomy / methods*
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures / instrumentation
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Sheep