'Black box' recorder puts surgeons' robotic surgery skills under the microscope

December 11, 2017

LOS ANGELES - You may know that your surgeon is using the latest minimally invasive technology for your surgery, but how do you know if they've mastered it? To help answer that question, researchers at Keck Medicine of USC looked to a custom recording tool similar in concept to a flight recorder on an airplane. When attached to a robotic surgery system during radical prostatectomy procedures, the most common treatment for prostate cancer, the "black box" recorder captured data that could be used to discern the difference between novice and expert surgeons. The results of the study will appear in the January 2018 edition of The Journal of Urology.

"Robotic surgery has been widely adopted by urologic surgeons, but methods of assessing proficiency vary widely between institutions," says lead author Andrew Hung, MD, assistant professor of clinical urology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. "In order to be credentialed by institutions to use the robotic system, surgeons must be evaluated by their peers for a handful of procedures, but the evaluations are not ongoing, and sometimes evaluators don't agree on what constitutes proficiency."

Creating a sustainable, objective method for evaluating surgeon proficiency and standardizing credentialing is a way to help ensure patient safety, Hung explains.

The recorder used in the study, called the dVLogger, captures both anonymized video and movement data. Developed by Intuitive Surgical, the research tool can attach to the company's da Vinci® Surgical System, a robotic surgical platform approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for general laparoscopic surgery.

"The dVLogger records the surgeon's movements, capturing where the instruments are and how the surgeon is moving the instruments," Hung says.

To test the recorder's ability to measure proficiency, four basic prostate surgery steps were analyzed. Data from 100 procedures performed by both novice and expert surgeons were recorded. Results showed that novice and expert surgeons could be identified by measuring time to complete operative steps; distance of instrument and camera travel; and frequency of camera movements.

Hung says that future studies will explore how the recorded performance data compares to clinical outcomes. "We now have an opportunity to put surgeon proficiency under the microscope and see what role it plays in patient outcomes," he says.
-end-
About Keck Medicine of USC

Keck Medicine of USC is the University of Southern California's medical enterprise, one of only two university-based medical systems in the Los Angeles area. Encompassing academic and clinical excellence, the medical system attracts internationally renowned physicians and scientists who strive to provide world-class patient care at Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital and more than 40 outpatient facilities, some at affiliated hospitals, in Los Angeles, Orange, Kern, Tulare and Ventura counties.

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Keck Medical Center of USC, which consists of Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, among the top 15 in ophthalmology and cancer care and among the top 50 hospitals in the United States for orthopaedic surgery, geriatric care and urology.

For more information, go to keckmedicine.org.

University of Southern California - Health Sciences

Related Prostate Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

Low risk of cancer spread on active surveillance for early prostate cancer
Men undergoing active surveillance for prostate cancer have very low rates - one percent or less - of cancer spread (metastases) or death from prostate cancer, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Urology®, an Official Journal of the American Urological Association (AUA).

ESMO 2020: Breast cancer drug set to transform prostate cancer treatment
A drug used to treat breast and ovarian cancer can extend the lives of some men with prostate cancer and should become a new standard treatment for the disease, concludes a major trial which is set to change clinical practice.

Major trial shows breast cancer drug can hit prostate cancer Achilles heel
A drug already licensed for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancers is more effective than targeted hormone therapy at keeping cancer in check in some men with advanced prostate cancer, a major clinical trial reports.

The Lancet: Prostate cancer study finds molecular imaging could transform management of patients with aggressive cancer
Results from a randomised controlled trial involving 300 prostate cancer patients find that a molecular imaging technique is more accurate than conventional medical imaging and recommends the scans be introduced into routine clinical practice.

Common genetic defect in prostate cancer inspires path to new anti-cancer drugs
Researchers found that, in prostate cancer, a mutation leading to the loss of one allele of a tumor suppressor gene known as PPP2R2A is enough to worsen a tumor caused by other mutations.

First prostate cancer therapy to target genes delays cancer progression
For the first time, prostate cancer has been treated based on the genetic makeup of the cancer, resulting in delayed disease progression, delayed time to pain progression, and potentially extending lives in patients with advanced, metastatic prostate cancer, reports a large phase 3 trial.

Men taking medications for enlarged prostate face delays in prostate cancer diagnosis
University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers report that men treated with medications for benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) experienced a two-year delay in diagnosis of their prostate cancer and were twice as likely to have advanced disease upon diagnosis.

CNIO researchers confirm links between aggressive prostate cancer and hereditary breast cancer
The study has potential implications for families with members suffering from these types of tumours who are at an increased risk of developing cancer.

Distinguishing fatal prostate cancer from 'manageable' cancer now possible
Scientists at the University of York have found a way of distinguishing between fatal prostate cancer and manageable cancer, which could reduce unnecessary surgeries and radiotherapy.

Researchers find prostate cancer drug byproduct can fuel cancer cells
A genetic anomaly in certain men with prostate cancer may impact their response to common drugs used to treat the disease, according to new research at Cleveland Clinic.

Read More: Prostate Cancer News and Prostate Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.