The first-ever live laparoscopic surgery using an image-guided robotically assisted system was broadcast at VAAO Symposium for Minimally Invasive Gynecological Surgery 2017 in Münster, Germany. The live case was performed by PD Dr Andreas Hackethal using the AutoLap system.
The ovarian cystectomy procedure was conducted using AutoLap, an imaged-guided robotically assisted laparoscope positioning system (MST Medical Surgery Technologies), to demonstrate the value of freeing a surgical assistant from the role of camera holder and achieving a consistently stable image and optimal field of view for the surgeon.
AutoLap is attached to the OR bedrail and guides the scope by means of real-time image analysis software (Follow Me mode) that continuously detects the surgical tools within the surgical cavity. The surgeon controls AutoLap with a wireless wearable control ring.
"I have used AutoLap in more complex surgeries too, when all the advantages of the system are especially evident," Hackethal noted following the broadcast. "I like having the option of switching between AutoLap's different modes during the procedure."
Hackethal's surgical assistant added: "This system allows us to give our attention to the other important tasks without having to hand the camera to someone else or even to the surgeon."
The audience at VAAO responded to the broadcast with supportive feedback and questions directed to MST's regional sales director, Holger Schipper. "AutoLap is very different from any other system used for laparoscopic procedures, so the participants were excited to have the opportunity to see it being used live," he said. "To date, the system has been used with 25 different types of surgical procedures. The live case ovarian cystectomy was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the system's advantages in a gynecological procedure."