Several of the pioneers and present-day leaders in minimally invasive surgery will come together this morning for the annual Live Telesurgery Forum.
The three-hour event starts at 9 am in Room 146 BC of the Washington Convention Center and will showcase vaginal, robotic and laparoscopic techniques from live surgeries at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and Northside Hospital in Atlanta.
Forum moderator Cheryl Iglesia, MD, FACOG, director of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery and the National Center for Advanced Pelvic Surgery (NCAPS) at MedStar and professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine, said that the audience could interact with the surgeons and glean technique tips such as settings or sutures and pick up other pointers that can’t be discovered through reading or watching video.
“You can always learn from watching somebody else about how to get into certain spaces and surgical planes more easily,” she said. “I always think that many of us are very visual learners, and seeing surgery live is helpful because it is unedited and in real time.”
Camran R. Nezhat, MD, FACOG, FACS, director of the Nezhat Institute and Center for Special Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery in Palo Alto, CA, will be part of the group in Atlanta performing four telesurgeries. Dr. Nezhat was one of the first to perform some of the more complex minimally invasive procedures decades ago. Joining him this morning will be his brothers Farr Nezhat, MD, FACOG, FACS, Nezhat Surgery for Gynecology/Oncology in New York, and Ceana Nezhat, MD, FACOG, FACS, director of the Nezhat Medical Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery and Reproductive Medicine in Atlanta, and niece Azadeh Nezhat, MD, FACOG, with the Center for Special Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery.
In Washington, members of MedStar’s NCAPS team, leaders in repairing pelvic floor disorders, will broadcast three surgeries involving surgeons Robert Gutman, MD, FACOG, associate professor of obstetrics/gynecology and urology at Georgetown University School of Medicine and director of the Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship; Amy Park, MD, director of research at the NCAPS and associate professor of obstetrics/gynecology and urology at Georgetown; Lee Richter, MD, one of the few urologists with obstetrics and gynecology-based training in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery; Jim Robinson, MD, MS, FACOG, director of minimally invasive surgery at MedStar; and Andrew Sokol, MD, associate director of minimally invasive surgery at MedStar and associate professor of obstetrics/gynecology and urology at Georgetown.
“Telesurgeries are well attended and a highlight with the audience because it’s mirroring what attendees see on a
day-to-day basis,” Dr. Iglesia said. “This is quite a group of fellowship-trained, board-certified, high-volume surgeons.”
Many of the specific techniques demonstrated may be new to the audience, but Dr. Robinson, who will perform a laparoscopic myomectomy for large symptomatic uterine fibroids, said that the program had been designed with the generalist in mind.
“As far as our patients are concerned, it’s about making sure that the generalists who see them on a regular basis are fully informed about the breadth of options available to patients,” he said. “I think that’s critical, and part of ACOG’s job, to make sure that the membership is firmly aware of what is available and what the data is to support those options.”
Organizers have planned to broadcast the following surgeries:
- Transvaginal Hysterectomy with Bilateral Salpingectomy, Uterosacral Ligament Suspension, Anterior/Posterior Repair, Retropubic Sling, Cystoscopy demonstrated via VITOM camera
- Laparoscopic/Robotic Hysterectomy and Sacrocolpopexy
- Laparoscopic/Robotic Myomectomy
- Laparoscopic/Robotic Hysterectomy and Staging for Malignant Condition
- Laparoscopic/Robotic Treatment of Endometriosis
- Laparoscopic/Robotic Subtotal Hysterectomy and Bilateral Salpingectomy, Bagged Tissue Extraction; Sacrocervicopexy; Posterior repair, Cystoscopy
- Outpatient Diagnostic and Operative Hysteroscopy