Background: Single-port laparoscopy is a step forward toward nearly scar less surgery. Concern has been raised that single-incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS) is technically more challenging because of the lack of triangulation and the clashing of instruments. Robotic single-incision laparoscopic surgery (RSILS) in chopstick setting might overcome these problems. This study evaluated the outcome in time and errors of two tasks of the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery on a dry platform, in two settings: SILS versus RSILS.
Methods: Nine experienced laparoscopic surgeons performed two tasks: peg transfer and a suturing task, on a standard box trainer. All participants practiced each task three times in both settings: SILS and a RSILS setting. The assessment scores (time and errors) were recorded.
Results: For the first task of peg transfer, RSILS was significantly better in time (124 versus 230 seconds, P = .0004) and errors (0.80 errors versus 2.60 errors, P = .024) at the first run, compared to the SILS setting. At the third and final run, RSILS still proved to be significantly better in errors (0.10 errors versus 0.80 errors, P = .025) compared to the SILS group. RSILS was faster in the third run, but not significant (116 versus 157 seconds, P = .08). For the second task, a suturing task, only 3 participants of the SILS group were able to perform this task within the set time frame of 600 seconds. There was no significant difference in time in the three runs between SILS and RSILS for the 3 participants that fulfilled both tasks within the 600 seconds.
Conclusions: This study shows that robotic single-port surgery seems easier, faster, and more precise to perform basis tasks of the Fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery. For the more complex task of suturing, only the single-port robotic setting enabled all participants to fulfill this task, within the set time frame.