University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors

The Future of Robotic Surgical Training

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Ankit Sinha
  • Alexander West
  • Nikhil Vasdev
  • Prasanna Sooriakumaran
  • Abhay Rane
  • Prokar Dasgupta
  • Michael McKirdy
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Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
Publication statusSubmitted - 16 May 2022


Surgical practice has changed greatly in the last century with increasingly complex technology used to
gain optimal outcomes for patients. At the same time, stress on healthcare systems, notably the recent
COVID-19 pandemic, has made training more challenging. While practice has evolved rapidly to
incorporate new technologies and handle stresses on the healthcare system, we examine how surgical
training has adapted to keep up.
Providing less invasive and safe outcomes for patients has driven the rise of minimally invasive surgery.
In particular, robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) has grown 10 – 40 times more than laparoscopic surgery
in common general surgical procedures [1]. This rapid growth necessitates similar growth in the
training standards and programmes to ensure there are enough practitioners to utilise this new
modality and that they do so safely.
The purpose of surgical training is to improve the surgeon’s knowledge base while allowing them to
navigate the novice learning curve safely and efficiently. This has classically been achieved through
case observations of new modalities and techniques followed by an immersive training experience.
There must, however, also be some balance in training to allow trainees to experience other
modalities such as open surgery in case they are required to attend to an emergency. It is also
important to consider the need to convert from robotic to open surgery on rare occasions.

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