Robotic thoracic operations are increasing, and new robotic systems are imminent. A definition of what constitutes a robotic thoracic operation and a nomenclature to detail the technique used is needed to accurately compare outcomes.Methods:
The American Association of Thoracic Surgeons Guideline Committee appointed an expert consensus writing committee to construct definitions and nomenclature for robotic thoracic surgery. A PubMed search was generated and after vetting and review of the literature a consensus statement was reached.Results:
The proposed definition is: “A robotic thoracic operation is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that does not spread, lift or remove any part of the chest or abdominal wall and is characterized by: the surgeon and the assistant's vision of the operative field is via a monitor only and the patient's tissue is manipulated by robotic instruments that follow a slave like mimic of human hands or thoughts via a computerized system.” In addition, a flexible nomenclature is proposed that should be applicable to current and future robotic systems that details the number of robotic arms used, the types of ports and/or incisions made, the use of insufflation, and the operation performed.Conclusions:
The American Association of Thoracic Surgeons writing committee proposes a definition and nomenclature for robotic thoracic surgery. Definitions are needed to ensure that future studies accurately compare results and outcomes and nomenclatures allow surgeons and scientists from diverse countries and cultures to use the same language to allow accurate communication.