Does 3-Dimensional (3-D) visualization improve the quality of assistance during robotic radical prostatectomy?

Rajan Ramanathan, Juan I.Martinez Salamanca, Anil Mandhani, Robert A. Leung, Sandhya R. Rao, Roy Berryhill, Ashutosh Tewari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: 3-Dimensional (3-D) visualization by the surgeon is considered to be one of the major advantages of robotic prostatectomy. We undertook this study to see if passing on this technology to the surgical assistants would improve the efficiency of their assistance. Materials and methods: The study was conducted in consecutive patients undergoing robotic radical prostatectomy by the same team, in one month at our center. A 3-D head mounted device (HMD) was used by the left and/ or right assistant. Video recording from these patients were studied by a blinded observer with prior training in laparoscopic surgery for the efficiency of laparoscopic moves by the two assistants. These moves were scored on a point scoring system from 0 to 100 with 100 signifying the best possible performance. Results: After exclusions, 26 videos were available for review. Each patient had a right and left-sided assistant. The right-sided assistant had prior experience in Laparoscopic Urology, and the left-sided assistant had a relatively limited laparoscopic experience. The mean scores for the left assistant improved from 76.3 to 84.6 with the use of 3-D visualization (p < 0.002), while the improvement for the right assistant was from 84.1 to 86.9 (NS). Conclusions: The use of 3-D visualization possibly improves the efficiency of assistance during robotic radical prostatectomies, for the assistant with limited experience in laparoscopic surgery. Because of the high-quality 3-D vision provided, these HMDs have the potential to be used as teaching aids in the robotic lab.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-99
Number of pages5
JournalWorld Journal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • 3-Dimensional visualization
  • Laparoscopic skills
  • Laparoscopic training
  • Prostate cancer
  • Robotic radical prostatectomy


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