Evaluation of the SYNAPSE VINCENT for lateral lymph node dissection in rectal cancer with robotic surgery: a preliminary report

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Background Even if 3D angiographic images of preoperative contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) are created, the coronal and axial sections can be unclear, and thus, it is difficult to achieve projection awareness similar to that of actual laparoscopic images. In recent years, the technology of analyzing and applying medical images has advanced, and surgical simulation and navigation have been widely used to improve the safety of surgical operations. It is important to understand pelvic anatomy in the area of rectal cancer, and use of the SYNAPSE VINCENT makes it possible to simulate the anatomy before surgery, which is very useful in educating surgeons and their assistants. Materials and methods An important objective in surgery is to understand the anatomy of the external/internal iliac arteries and lymph nodes in lateral lymph node dissection (LLD) for rectal cancer. In this study, we explored the accuracy and usefulness of SYNAPSE VINCENT images of pelvic anatomy (especially vascular anatomy) analyzed preoperatively in two cases of LLD for rectal cancer in our department. Results The patients were two men aged 73 and 57 years, respectively. Both patients underwent robotic abdominal perineal resection and LLD with neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy. The operating times for LLD were 138 and 106 min, estimated blood loss was less than 10 mL and 20 mL, and the harvested lymph nodes were nos. 21 and 22, respectively. The SYNAPSE VINCENT could be used for simulation and navigation before and during surgery. For experienced surgeons, the system helped them carry out operations more accurately. Conclusion In the future, surgical support using virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality based on medical images will be useful and is expected to improve the safety, accuracy, and efficiency of surgery, which is extremely useful for both young and skilled surgeons preparing for difficult operations.