Purpose: The SOFAR® Telelap Alf-X (Milan, Italy) is a novel telesurgical system which combines the advantages of both laparoscopy and open surgery. It offers some new features like tactile perception, open site view, eye-tracking control of the camera, and optimal ergonomics.
Objective: The aim of this study is to examine the feasibility and the safety of nephrectomy using a novel telesurgical system with haptic sensation: the Telelap Alf-X.
Materials and methods: Twelve female swine underwent nephrectomies using the Telelap Alf-X system. Data regarding operative times, estimated blood loss (EBL), surgical methodology, and intraoperative complications are presented.
Results: The Telelap Alf-X's docking took less than one minute, the system was versatile during each step of the nephrectomy and the operative times have reduced dramatically along the learning curve. One intraoperative complication was recorded (Vena Cava injury-repaired using the robotic system) and the estimated blood loss was minimal.
Conclusions: The Telelap Alf-X proved to be safe and reliable and can be easily used by the surgeon. The porcine model nephrectomies proved to be an excellent way to gain experience and avoid future complications.