The team consists of a primary surgeon who operates at the console and two additional personnel who are sterile at the patient's side. The right-sided surgeon should be a physician who is skilled in laparoscopy and facile in port placement and docking of the robot. The left-sided assistant may be a physician, nurse, or surgical assistant. Each assistant is responsible for exchanging the robotic instruments on his/her respective side. The operation can be performed with a single assistant who has moderate advanced laparoscopic skills and with a strong understanding of the operation (10). It has been our experience that observation and second assistance is crucial to a surgeon's understanding of the operation and greatly reduces the time needed to master the roles of first assistant and console surgeon. This training philosophy works especially well in the setting of a residency program and the development of a robotic program. Furthermore, as the level of experience of the entire team increases, so does the ease and efficiency of the operation.
The da Vinci Surgical System is a master-slave robot system, which provides a magnified, three-dimensional image with wristed instrumentation.
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