Concurrent launch of a Robotic general surgery program and trainee curriculum: initial experience

Ryan M Juza, MD, Vinay Singhal, MD, Tung Tran, MD, Eric Pauli, MD, Randy Haluck, MD, Ann M Rogers, MD, Jerome R Lyn-Sue, MD

Penn state Milton S. Hershey Medical Center


Robotic surgery is gradually increasing its presence in the field of General Surgery and with this change comes the challenge of training our current and future surgeons simultaneously. We report our experience of starting a robotic surgery program at an academic institute while concurrently incorporating minimally invasive fellows into robotic training in a safe and effective manner. The objective of this study was to compare the outcomes of first 20 robotic cholecystectomies to standard laparoscopic cholecystectomies performed at our institution.


Two experienced laparoscopic surgeons completed their training and credentialing to use the standard robotic surgical system. Robotic cholecystectomies were the initial procedure performed. A training curriculum for our minimally invasive fellows was developed. Trainees were required to complete online training and on-site simulation sessions. Thereafter, they were incorporated into the robotic surgery team and were able to perform portions of the operation in expedient fashion. A retrospective review of 20 robotic cholecystectomies done from May to September 2012 was performed and compared to previous 20 standard laparosopic cholecystectomy.


Both groups were matched for age, sex, BMI and ASA class. There were no intra-operative complications in either group. There were no conversions to open procedure in both groups and no conversions to laparoscopy in the robotic group. One patient from the robotic group presented with retained CBD stone requiring ERCP and sphincterotomy. Mean operative time for the first 10 robotic cases was 80 minutes and the next 10 cases was 91 minutes which was not statistically significant. Mean operative time in the robotic group was 87 minutes and laparoscopic group was 67 minutes.


Robotic surgery program can be implemented safely and efficiently while concurrently training fellows in robotic surgery

Session: Poster Presentation

Program Number: P651

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