Telemedicine is the use of communication technologies to deliver health care. Telesurgical telementoring represents an advanced form of telemedicine, whereby an experienced surgeon can guide and teach practicing surgeons new operative techniques utilizing current video technology, medical robots, and high-bandwidth telecommunications. This technology can potentially enhance surgeons' education, increase patients' access to experienced surgeons, and decrease the likelihood of complications due to inexperience with new techniques. A personal computer-based system was developed to immerse a surgical specialist into a distant operating room utilizing public telephone lines. Telesurgical laparoscopic telementoring has successfully been implemented in 27 prior operations between the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and the Johns Hopkins Hospital, whereby the two institutions were separated by 3.5 miles. We report our experience in performing three successful international surgical telementoring operations, one in Innsbruck, Austria, and two in Bangkok, Thailand.
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