Teleconferencing and Ear Surgery

abstract | author | presentation | paper

Srecko Branica, MD, PhD

In medicine as a whole, and especially in its surgical fields, it is difficult to precisely describe the work methodology using words and numbers. This is why teleconferencing is essential in obtaining complete and correct information.

With regard to the knowledge and experience of the observer(s) in relation to the surgeon performing the operation, surgical teleconferencing can be divided as follows:
1. teleeducation – the most experienced surgeon with the most knowledge is performing the surgery while others are learning by observing and asking questions
2. teleconsultation – a less experienced surgeon is performing the surgery while one or more colleagues help with their advice and experience
3. discussion – several colleagues with approximately the same level of experience follow the surgery performed by one of them
4. a combination of several of the techniques mentioned above.

The advantages of teleconferencing in surgery are:
1. In most cases the number of observers is unlimited.
2. The observers are at a remote location and do not distract the surgeon with their presence in the operation room.
3. The observers don’t impact the sterility of the operating room.
4. By placing the camera directly above the operation field, the remote observers have better information than if they were in the operating room itself.
5. By transmitting the information over large distances it is no longer necessary to travel to the source of information, thus saving time and money.
6. The possibility of contacting more experienced colleagues in other hospitals during unexpected situations or various complications, which the surgeon is unable to resolve by himself.

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