EAES Research Sandpit
Heidelberg – Germany
London – UK
Rome – Italy
Zagreb – Croatia
Nicolò Maria Barabino
Genova – Italy
Idea for the project
As a group of early career surgical academics, we recognised the importance of achieving surgical quality and standardisation in clinical practice and surgical trials. We are a truly European group therefore we wanted to deliver a project that will enable us to maximise our international connections and something that can be of great use for our current and future academic careers.
Surgical quality assessment in minimally invasive surgery is a topic that is still not thoroughly investigated. The importance of SQA in surgery has been demonstrated in landmark surgical studies such as the ROMIO study, however this was lacking in laparoscopic gastrectomy.
We therefore decided to focus on developing a SQA in laparoscopic total gastrectomy with the aim of achieving technical standardization of key steps and reducing heterogeneity in surgical performance. This project will use multiple interconnected work packages to build a novel minimally invasive gastrectomy SQA as a primary aim. This will be validated using video-based assessment.
The further goal will be to establish a high-quality data basis to be used in machine learning for developing an artificial intelligence image-guided tool to be used in such procedures. This would hopefully lead to standardization of the laparoscopic total gastrectomy and improve the quality of procedure and clinical outcomes.
Experience of the sandpit day:
We all thoroughly enjoyed the EAES research sandpit day. A particular highlight was getting the opportunity to meet each other for the first time in person. We built stronger professional and interhuman relationships and also met the other research sandpit candidates that were participating in the day. This allowed exchange of research ideas and provided invaluable collaboration opportunities. We thoroughly enjoyed brainstorming our specific research ideas guided by our expert mentors. This facilitated the evolution of the project in an ambitious yet feasible manner. The day started off with a series of formal lectures delivered by eminent surgical academics which provided us with the theory and background of how to build a successful academic surgical career which we found highly useful. All in all, the experience was extremely positive and we would highly recommend this to future participants.
Brief next steps:
For the next steps we have divided our project in several phases. First is the acquisition and analysis of videos of laparoscopic total gastrectomy performed by experts for patients with oncological diagnosis. Key technical steps such as lymphadenectomy and creation of anastomosis will be specifically assessed. We will perform a Delphi consensus on crucial steps and aspects of surgical quality assessment in laparoscopic total gastrectomy in parallel to develop our SQA. From there we will have to perform video editing and assessment of the video frames and our future work will be to incorporate artificial intelligence-based learning.
To make our project a success, we would like to ask you to participate in the Delphi survey, when it is sent, or otherwise cooperate when we call on your expertise.
Thank you on behalf of the whole team
The recorded lectures of the 2022 edition of the EAES Wintermeeting. Offered to you by the European Association for Endoscopic Surgery. A morning full of lectures about the latest technology in endoscopic surgery. ‘Innovations in surgery – from lab to OR’.