Training in robotic thoracic surgery—the European way
The increasing demand for robot-assisted thoracic surgery (RATS) in Europe requires a structured and standardized training module. Until now, Intuitive Surgical Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA, USA) has delivered the only available robotic surgery platform. Although the training program that is organized by Intuitive is divided in an initial and an advanced course, the success of the training depends on many external factors. For obvious reasons, until now the training focuses on experienced thoracic surgeons. The aim of this article is to offer a stepwise training module, which can be adopted by experienced open (thoracotomy) surgeons or video-assisted thoracic (VATS) surgeons but is primarily meant for thoracic surgery fellows and residents, as it is our sincere opinion that we should focus on training for this type of surgery as early in their careers as possible. In order to maintain surgical technique and minimize the chance of complications, on-going training and certification of the surgeons and the team is deemed necessary.