Background: This paper aimed to describe the training available and the process taken to establish a robotic colorectal surgery programme in a large Australian academic private hospital. Through this we hope to guide other surgeons and hospitals planning to introduce this technology in circumstances where such guidelines do not exist. Methods: The available training and credentialing pathways are described, including the da Vinci Surgery Training Pathway provided by Intuitive Surgical and hospital-based supports. A proposed 9-point training and credentialing pathway is presented, along with the activities undertaken by each surgeon. Results: From December 2011 to December 2013, 48 robotic colorectal procedures were performed at the Cabrini Hospital. Operations performed were as follows: 23 anterior resections, seven abdominoperineal resections, 11 rectopexies, three proctectomies and ileal pouch-anal anastomosis and four right hemicolectomies. There have been no conversions, and no major complications. There were no robot-specific complications. Conclusion: We believe that this thorough and methodical approach to introducing robotics to colorectal surgery has been safe and effective, and should be applicable to other surgeons and hospitals wishing to introduce robotic technology to colorectal surgery.
- Robotic surgery