Live streaming boosts robotic-assisted surgical training


From Colney to Cologne.

A new educational tool has been launched at our hospital, which can securely livestream surgery in Norfolk to the next generation of surgeons across the UK and Europe.

We’ve become the first hospital in the East of England to use Intuitive Telepresence to enable more surgeons to take the first steps in learning robotic-assisted surgery and be virtually present in our theatres.

Our Urology team started robotic surgery at NNUH in 2017 and we were the first hospital in the region to start robotic-assisted colorectal cancer surgery. We have expanded specialities to carry out robotic assisted minimally-invasive surgery in gynaecology, thoracic, ENT and general surgical procedures.

Robotic colorectal surgery is delivered by Irshad Shaikh, Ahmed El Hadi and James Hernon and the Colorectal Surgery department welcomes visiting surgeons from across Europe.

The introduction of Intuitive Telepresence means interested professionals can follow a procedure in real-time, with patient consent, from anywhere in the world.

Irshad Shaikh, Consultant Colorectal and lead Robotic Surgeon, who helps train surgeons in robotic-assisted practice, said the new and efficient alternative for surgical observation avoided the need for surgeons to travel long distances.

“Case observation is the first step for surgeons who want to learn about robotic-assisted surgery before they start their training in a lab. If someone is in Ireland or Germany, it can be difficult to get to Norfolk. Telepresence allows them to watch on a laptop and ask questions.”

“Face-to-face learning is still preferred, but this suits busy lives, and this is another big step for our unit as a national and internationally renowned centre for robotic-assisted surgical training.”

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