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Exploring the learning curve of a new robotic microsurgical system for microsurgery


Barbon, Carlotta; Grünherz, Lisanne; Uyulmaz, Semra; Giovanoli, Pietro; Lindenblatt, Nicole (2022). Exploring the learning curve of a new robotic microsurgical system for microsurgery. JPRAS Open, 34:126-133.

Abstract

Robotic systems have recently been introduced into micro- and supermicrosurgery showing potential benefits for reconstructive surgery. After showing the feasibility and safety of using the Symani Surgical System® for lymphatic microsurgical procedures in humans, we present the results of the first twenty-two patients operated with the robot. The main goal of the study was to determine the learning curve using the Symani Surgical System® . In addition, we aimed at exploring the potential of robot-assisted anastomosis for lymphatic, free flap, and nerve reconstruction and defining the advantages and drawbacks of implementing the system into our daily routine. The operating times were compared between robotic-assisted and hand-sewn anastomoses. Moreover, outcomes and complications were recorded. In this first patient series, anastomotic times were significantly faster with the hand-sewn technique (14.1±4.3 min) when compared with the robot-assisted technique (25.3±12.3 min; p<0.01). However, the learning curve was very steep, and the time needed to perform the anastomosis has been consistently decreasing over time to the point where in the last operations, the times to perform particularly lympho-venous anastomoses were comparable between the two groups. Based on our experience up to date, robot-assisted surgery shows a promising potential in opening up new frontiers in reconstructive microsurgery, e.g., the reliable performance of anastomoses on even smaller blood and lymphatic vessels or on structures deeper within the body cavities, e.g., the thoracic duct.

Abstract

Robotic systems have recently been introduced into micro- and supermicrosurgery showing potential benefits for reconstructive surgery. After showing the feasibility and safety of using the Symani Surgical System® for lymphatic microsurgical procedures in humans, we present the results of the first twenty-two patients operated with the robot. The main goal of the study was to determine the learning curve using the Symani Surgical System® . In addition, we aimed at exploring the potential of robot-assisted anastomosis for lymphatic, free flap, and nerve reconstruction and defining the advantages and drawbacks of implementing the system into our daily routine. The operating times were compared between robotic-assisted and hand-sewn anastomoses. Moreover, outcomes and complications were recorded. In this first patient series, anastomotic times were significantly faster with the hand-sewn technique (14.1±4.3 min) when compared with the robot-assisted technique (25.3±12.3 min; p<0.01). However, the learning curve was very steep, and the time needed to perform the anastomosis has been consistently decreasing over time to the point where in the last operations, the times to perform particularly lympho-venous anastomoses were comparable between the two groups. Based on our experience up to date, robot-assisted surgery shows a promising potential in opening up new frontiers in reconstructive microsurgery, e.g., the reliable performance of anastomoses on even smaller blood and lymphatic vessels or on structures deeper within the body cavities, e.g., the thoracic duct.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Reconstructive Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Surgery
Language:English
Date:December 2022
Deposited On:16 Dec 2022 11:10
Last Modified:29 Mar 2024 02:36
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2352-5878
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpra.2022.09.002
PubMed ID:36304073
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)