Feasibility of Telementoring for Microneurosurgical Procedures Using a Microscope: A Proof-of-Concept Study

Bryan M. Ladd, Ryan D. Tackla, Akshay Gupte, David Darrow, Jeffery Sorenson, Mario Zuccarello, Andrew W. Grande

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background Our pilot study evaluated the effectiveness of our telementoring-telescripting model to facilitate seamless communication between surgeons while the operating surgeon is using a microscope. Methods As a first proof of concept, 4 students identified 20 anatomic landmarks on a dry human skull with or without telementoring guidance. To assess the ability to communicate operative information, a senior neurosurgery resident evaluated the student's ability and timing to complete a stepwise craniotomy on a cadaveric head, with and without telementoring guidance; a second portion included exposure of the anterior circulation. The mentor was able to annotate directly onto the operator's visual field, which was visible to the operator without looking away from the binocular view. Results The students showed that they were familiar with half (50% ± 10%) of the structures for identification and none was familiar with the steps to complete a craniotomy before using our system. With the guidance of a remote surgeon projected into the visual field of the microscope, the students were able to correctly identify 100% of the structures and complete a craniotomy. Our system also proved effective in guiding a more experienced neurosurgery resident through complex operative steps associated with exposure of the anterior circulation. Conclusions Our pilot study showed a platform feasible in providing effective operative direction to inexperienced operators while operating using a microscope. A remote mentor was able to view the visual field of the microscope, annotate on the visual stream, and have the annotated stream appear in the binocular view for the operating mentee.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-686
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Neurosurgery
  • Telementoring
  • Telescripting

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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