First Robotic Rectal Cancer Surgery at the Champalimaud Clinical Centre in Lisbon, Portugal
Today, the first robotic rectal surgery at the Champalimaud Clinical Centre in Lisbon, Portugal was performed. The surgery was performed by Prof. Amjad Parvaiz using the state of the art da Vinci® Surgical System. Today’s surgery was observed by 3 colorectal surgeons from Germany and the Czech Republic as part of their training via the European Academy of Robotic Colorectal Surgery (EARCS), an exciting new surgical training programme designed to meet the growing interest in adopting robotic surgery, particularly for rectal resection. As a training centre for EARCS, the Champalimaud Clinical Centre is set to lead the world in precision robotic surgery for colorectal cancer.
Laparoscopy has become the gold standard for the treatment of colorectal cancer in the Western World. It is associated with better short-term outcomes, such as less postoperative pain, less blood loss, reduced analgesia requirement and shorter hospital stay. Whilst laparoscopic colonic surgery is relatively easy to perform with minimal impact on oncological outcomes, laparoscopic rectal cancer surgery is associated with higher morbidity and higher rates of conversion to open procedure. Pelvic surgery for rectal cancer presents the technical problems of bony confines, access and exposure issues, that makes this surgery technically very challenging. With a robotic surgical system, some of these technical issues of exposure, access and wrist manipulation can be overcome.
The EARCS training programme is designed to improve patient outcomes for European colorectal cancer patients by improving the entire surgical learning pathway for minimally invasive surgery, including technology, training, mentor relationships and data evaluation.
EARCS is directed by two of the foremost experts of robotic surgery in the world: Prof. Amjad Parvaiz and Prof. Giuseppe Spinoglio. Prof. Amjad Parvaiz is currently performing robotic colorectal surgery at the Champalimaud Clinical Centre (Portugal) and Poole Hospital (UK) and teaching the technique to European surgeons using the minimally invasive robotic da Vinci® Surgical System.
Training is delivered by EARCS faculty, which includes 15 leading robotic colorectal surgeons in 7 European countries. Central coordination of EARCS is based at the Champalimaud Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal and training is given by the faculty using da Vinci® Surgical Systems. Currently, EARCS is training 54 surgeons from 12 European countries, of which 13 are going through their final assessment and 9 are ready to graduate.
Surgical Team and Observers (from left): Dr. José F Cunha (Champalimaud Clinical Centre, Portugal), Prof. R. J. (Bill) Heald (Champalimaud Clinical Centre, Portugal and Pelican Cancer Foundation, UK), Aneta Zustric (Intuitive Surgical, Germany), Prof. Christian Krieglstein (St. Elisabeth Hospital Cologne, Germany), Prof. Amjad Parvaiz (Champalimaud Clinical Centre, Portugal and Poole Hospital, UK), Dr. Daniel Mittmann (St. Elisabeth Hospital Cologne, Germany), Dr. Matthias Stute (St. Elisabth Hospital Cologne, Germany), Prof. Alexander Ferko (University Hospital Hradec Králové, Czech Republic) and Pavol Guber (Intuitive Surgical, Czech Republic). Not present: Dr. Nuno Figueiredo (Champalimaud Clinical Centre, Portugal).