In addition to our research program, one of the primary missions of the TransOral Robotic Surgery Program at the University of the University of Pennsylvania has been in the arena of training. Prior to FDA approval of TORS, Drs. Weinstein and O’Malley focused training efforts on both American surgeons and international surgeons who were qualified from the standpoint of Head and Surgery background and had access to the da Vinci Surgical System in their hospitals. Also, prior to FDA approval, training of American surgeons was limited to a handful of qualified physicians who were then encouraged to begin their own clinical research programs. Also prior to FDA approval, surgeons from 14 different countries were trained in the TORS technique. Since FDA approval of TORS in December 2009, the training program has been transformed to offer state of the art TORS training by combining case observation with hands on animal and cadaver training in the fully equipped Glenolden Robotic Training Facility.
For patient information on TORS which was invented and developed at PENN and appointment information click here.
Drs. O’Malley and Weinstein have been actively involved in creating TORS training materials. These include a comprehensive procedure guide and training videos as well as numerous lectures which provide general as well as specific understanding of the TORS technique.
TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) Procedure Guide – Download a PDF of the guide to the preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative management of patients with TORS.
At present the only place to obtain complete training in TORS is at the University of Pennsylvania. An example of how a schedule of training could be arranged at PENN would be: (1) clinic observation on Thursday AM, (2) cadaver dissection on Thursday afternoon and (3) OR observation of 1 to 3 cases on Friday. There will also be didactics on Friday. This is obviously dependent on OR and Training Center availability. Naturally there are no hands on training for actual patients and this portion of the training is observation only.
Given the long distances traveled, most international surgeons come for a full week and spend time observing in the outpatient clinic as well as the operating room.
For those who are not ready to commit to cadaver training, case observation alone is also available.
In order to schedule training you must contact your Intuitive Rep to discuss the training pathway. The way to figure out who your Intuitive Rep is for your hospital is to find the person in your operating room who is responsible for the robot. In our case it is the unit nurse, in your case it may be an administrator.