Resection of Intracranial Tumors with a Robotic-Assisted Digital Microscope: A Preliminary Experience with Robotic Scope

World Neurosurg. 2021 Aug:152:e205-e211. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2021.05.075. Epub 2021 May 27.


Background: Magnified intraoperative visualization is of paramount importance during microsurgical procedures. Although the introduction of the operating microscope represented one of the most relevant innovations in modern neurosurgery, surgical vision and maneuverability can be limited in cases with unfavorable angles of attack. In such cases, the placement of the operating microscope can be difficult and result in significant discomfort to the surgeon. In previous decades, exoscopes were introduced as alternative tools to provide optimal ergonomics by decoupling the line of sight of the surgeon from the binocular lenses. However, exoscopic platforms entail interim manual adjustments of the camera position and setting. To overcome this limitation, robotic-assisted digital microscopy was developed. We have reported our preliminary experience with the RoboticScope to investigate the feasibility and safety of this novel digital system for intraoperative magnification.

Methods: In September 2020, the RoboticScope was used to perform 3 cranial procedures for the resection of brain tumors. The surgeon's opinion was recorded to evaluate the quality of the intraoperative vision, the safety and efficacy of the surgical maneuverability, and the surgeon's personal comfort.

Results: RoboticScope provided remarkable advantages in terms of enhanced workflow efficacy and increased comfort of the surgeon during the microsurgical phase of the cranial procedures. The overall quality of the intraoperative digital imaging was rated not inferior to that of traditional optical microscopes.

Conclusions: The RoboticScope is a promising device that might represent a valuable alternative to conventional tools for intraoperative visualization in the resection of intracranial tumors.

Keywords: Brain tumors; Cranial surgery; Digital; Neurosurgery; Operating microscope; Robotic.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Astrocytoma / surgery
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Meningioma / surgery
  • Microscopy / instrumentation
  • Microsurgery / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / instrumentation*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods*
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures / instrumentation*
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Robotics / methods*
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted / methods