Interview with Dr. Fernando Gomez Sancha

Invivox Interview of Dr. Fernando Gomez Sancha, Head of the Department of Urology and Robotic Surgery at ICUA (Instituto de Cirugía Urológica Avanzada) - Clinica CEMTRO in Madrid

Da Vinci XI Robot, the eyes and hands of Urologists surgeons: The Gold Standard

The Clinica Cemtro in Madrid, Spain, is equipped with the famous robot Da Vinci Xi (the fourth generation). This robot is doing exactly the complex movements of the hands of surgeon with 4 arms and a binocular HD camera. Da Vinci system permits to practice some complex and tricky urological with minimally invasive approach.

Da Vinci XI Robot

INVIVOX: Could you introduce yourself very quickly?

I am an urologist from Madrid, Spain, highly specialized in prostatic minimally invasive surgery, specially endoscopic laser enucleation of the prostate for BPH and robotic prostatectomy for prostate cancer.

INVIVOX: What is the ICUA about? Since when? Who do you target? 

We are a private center specialized in minimally invasive urological surgery, it was founded 17 years ago. We cover all areas of urology except renal transplant. For the last 11 years, Dr. Richard Gaston has been a member of our staff coming with us to operate every month, initially with laparoscopy and for the last 3 years with the Da Vinci Xi Robot, to perform radical prostatectomies, radical cystectomies and partial nephrectomies.

INVIVOX: You propose one training, what’s the purpose of microanatomy of prostate?

Dr. Gaston is well known for having developed innovative ways to perform radical robotic prostatectomy in way that maximizes the chances of preserving urinary continence and erectile function. The knowledge of the detailed « microanatomy » of the prostate is necessary for this approach and is discussed during the course.

INVIVOX: Is it explained how to use Da Vinci 4 arms?  If yes, your training is only for surgeons who are equipped with this robot?

We use a 4 arms Xi surgical system but the knowledge acquired can be perfectly used with older versions of the Da Vinci Robot.

Da Vinci XI 4 arms surgical system

INVIVOX: Who could attend the training? Is training opened to Urologist surgeons only? 

It’s specially interesting for robotic surgeons who want to deepen the understanding of microanatomy of the prostate and learn from Dr. Gaston.

INVIVOX: What means are available to trainees? 

They will accompany us in the operating room for a two days course where we will perform 5-8 robotic radical prostatectomies. They will have a chance to discuss the cases and comment all technical details with us during operations, learn how to optimize the preparation of the patient for surgery, docking of the robot and other practical issues.

INVIVOX: What are the requirements to register? What’s the set-up?

Urologists can register, we can accept up to 4 participants per course. We have a robotic simulator for basic exercises, but typically we would aim to receive visitors who already perform radical robotic prostatectomy and want to take it one step further.

INVIVOX: How a typical training (during 2 days) is organized?

It is a full day and then half a day of operations.

INVIVOX: What are the main benefits of this training? What are the key points attendees can expect to acquire? 

They will gain understanding of the lateral access to the prostate to achieve a total preservation of the neurovascular bundles as well as the pubovesical neurovascular complex.

INVIVOX: Do you delivery a certificate at the end of training? 

A diploma will be provided at the end of session.

"Well, two days of cases with the opportunity to discuss all the details with Dr. Gaston is a lot of time to exchange information and opinions with a world class surgeon."

INVIVOX: Are you staying in touch with your trainees after the training? For advices for example.

Yes, they become our friends and it is common that we keep in touch.

INVIVOX: How long have you been instructor? 

I have instructed urologists to perform minimally invasive surgery for the prostate for the last 15 years. Mainly in laser prostatectomy, and recently for robotic surgery.

INVIVOX: How will the doctor’s training develop in the future? 

I guess surgical simulation is growing in importance and popularity, as well as video watching, also virtual reality might become important, allowing surgeons to see procedures in 3D, and learn from the masters from home.

INVIVOX: How is Invivox helping you? 

Invivox helps urologists worldwide to know of training opportunities that otherwise are very difficult to get out there and make them visible. It’s bringing urologists closer and facilitating the exchange of information and experience, so important in medicine.

INVIVOX: Do you have some projects of new masterclasses? 

We are going to implement En bloc HoLEP courses also to try to spread the newest form of anatomic enucleation of the prostate for the treatment of BPH.

You can find Dr. Fernando Gomez Sancha's profile on Invivox.