Safety and effectiveness of live broadcast of surgical procedures: systematic review

Surg Endosc. 2022 Aug;36(8):5571-5594. doi: 10.1007/s00464-022-09072-6. Epub 2022 May 23.


Introduction: Live Broadcast of Surgical Procedures (LBSP) has gained popularity in conferences and educational meetings in the past few decades. This is due to rapid advancement in both Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) that enable transmission of the entire operative field and transmission ease and technology to help broadcast the operation to a live audience. The aim of this study was to update the evidence with specific emphasis on the patient safety issues related to LBSP in MIS.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed using Medline, Embase and Pubmed using defined search terms related to LBSP in educational events across all surgical specialities, in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. We also consolidated the prior guidelines and position statements on this topic. Outcomes included reports on the educational value of LBSP as well as patient safety outcomes and ethical issues that were captured by clinical outcomes.

Results: A total 1230 abstracts were identified with 27 papers meeting the inclusion criteria (13 original articles and 14 position statements/guidelines). All studies highlighted the educational benefits of LBSP but without clear measure of these benefits. Clinical outcomes were not compromised in 9 studies but were inferior in the remaining 4, including lower completion rate of endoscopic surgery and higher rate of re-operation. Only nine studies complied with dedicated consent forms for LBSP with no consistent approach of reporting on maintaining patient confidentiality during LBSP. There was a lack of recommendation on standardised approach of reporting on LBSP including the outcomes across the 14 published guidelines and positions statements.

Conclusions: Live Broadcast of Surgical Procedures can be of educational value but patient safety may be compromised. A standardised framework of reporting on LBSP and its outcomes is required from an ethical and patient safety perspective.

Prospero registration: CRD42021256901.

Keywords: Broadcast; Live; Safety; Surgery.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures* / methods
  • Patient Safety*