Remote training and teleproctoring in gastrointestinal endoscopy for practicing surgeon in rural Uganda

Julia Torabi, Marnie Abeshouse, Angellica Giibwa, Joseph Okello Damoi, Moses Binoga Bakaleke, Jerome D. Waye, Katie Glerum, Michael L. Marin, Linda Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: There is a significant, unmet need for endoscopy services in rural Uganda. With limited diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, patients in these communities often present with advanced disease. Practicing surgeons must continually adapt to new techniques to meet the needs of their patient populations. Here, we present a remotely proctored endoscopy training program for a surgeon practicing in an area devoid of endoscopic capabilities. Methods: This was a retrospective case series conducted between February 2020 and December 2022 at Kyabirwa Surgical Center (KSC). After a 1-week in-person training camp, one surgeon performed endoscopy under guidance of a remote proctor. Patient data and outcomes were collected retrospectively. Results: The previously endoscopic naïve practicing Ugandan surgeon was remotely proctored for 139 endoscopic cases and he subsequently independently performed 167 diagnostic colonoscopies and 425 upper endoscopies. Therapeutic endoscopy was conducted under remote guidance after proficiency in diagnostic endoscopy. A total of 43 therapeutic procedures were performed, including 29 esophageal stent placements, 5 variceal bandings, and 9 foreign body retrievals. All procedures were completed without complication. Conclusion: Our center developed a remotely proctored endoscopy program that allowed for training of practicing surgeons in an area lacking endoscopic services. Despite its limitations, remotely proctored endoscopy serves as a unique but highly valuable method of expanding access to endoscopy, particularly in areas that lack adequate training opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8785-8790
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Volume37
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Keywords

  • Endoscopy
  • Global surgery
  • Remote training

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