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.
© The Author(s) 2014.