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Cureus. 2016 Jan 27;8(1):e469. doi: 10.7759/cureus.469.

Training Medical Novices in Spinal Microsurgery: Does the Modality Matter? A Pilot Study Comparing Traditional Microscopic Surgery and a Novel Robotic Optoelectronic Visualization Tool.

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Neurosurgery, Swedish Neuroscience Institute.
Neurosurgery, Seattle Science Foundation.
Seattle Science Foundation.


The operative microscope has been a staple instrument in the neurosurgical operating room over the last 50 years. With advances in optoelectronics, options such as robotically controlled high magnification have become available. Such robotically controlled optoelectronic systems may offer new opportunities in surgical technique and teaching. However, traditionally trained surgeons may find it hard to accept newer technologies due to an inherent bias emerging from their previous background. We, therefore, studied how a medically naïve population in a pilot study would meet set microsurgical goals in a cadaver experiment using either a conventional operative microscope or BrightMatter™ Servo system, ​a robotically controlled optoelectronic system (Synaptive Medical, Toronto, Ontario, Canada). We found that the relative ease in teaching medical novices with a robotically controlled optoelectronic system was more valuable when compared to using a modern-day surgical microscope.


operative microscope; robotically controlled optoelectronic system; servo system; surgical training

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