J reconstr Microsurg 2011; 27(9): 537-542
DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1285985
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Microsurgery and Telemicrosurgery Training: A Comparative Study

Reeta M. Ramdhian1 , 2 , Mike Bednar3 , Gustavo R. Mantovani4 , Sybille A. Facca1 , 2 , Philippe André Liverneaux1 , 2
  • 1Hand Surgery Department, Strasbourg University Hospitals, Strasbourg, France
  • 2European Institute of TeleSurgery, Strasbourg University Hospitals, Strasbourg, France
  • 3Hand Surgery Department, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Illinois
  • 4Sao Paolo Hand center, Ben Portuguesa Hospital, Sao Paolo, Brazil
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
23 August 2011 (eFirst)


Telemicrosurgery (TMS) is a new technique inspired by telesurgery and conventional microsurgery (CMS). One of the difficulties of CMS is learning to control physiological tremor. TMS eliminates the physiological tremor, thus theoretically simplifying microsurgical procedures, but no tactile feedback is provided while tying knots. The objective of this study was to assess if the learning curve for performing microsurgical anastomosis for TMS than with CMS was comparable. Thirty earthworms were anastomosed with 10/0 nylon sutures. In this study 15 anastomoses were performed under operating microscope and 15 under Da Vinci S® robot (Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, CA). A single operator without experience in either technique performed all anastomoses. The evaluation consisted of measuring the time to perform each stitch, as well as to complete the anastomosis. The integrity of the anastomosis was tested by injection of saline solution into the earthworm to assess permeability and watertightness. The average time to complete a single suture was 296 seconds in the CMS group and 529 seconds in the TMS group. Permeability and watertightness of anastomosis was 86.66% in both groups. Learning was faster with CMS than with TMS. For untrained surgeon, the absence of tactile feedback is a limiting factor with TMS, however, the benefits of the TMS are: three-dimensional high definition vision, abolition of physiological tremor, motion scaling of gestures down to 5 times, use of three instruments at once, and extreme mobility.


Philippe André Liverneaux, M.D. , Ph.D. 

Department of Hand Surgery, Strasbourg University Hospital

10 Avenue Achille Baumann, Illkrich, F-67403, France

Email: philippe.liverneaux@chru-strasbourg.fr