Newswise — Hackensack University Medical Center is the very first healthcare network in the United States to implement surgical telepresence activity with the Da Vinci Single Port (SP), a robotic assisted system designed  for narrow surgical procedures.

Dr. Mutahar Ahmed, Director Urologic Bladder Cancer and Dr. Michael Stifleman, Chair of Urology and Director of Robotic Surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center, recently began using the telepresence program to  teach doctors across the world how to perform single port procedures. 

“This is a unique and exciting time for us. The innovative telemonitoring system is a key piece of training technology,  allowing for collaboration in real time. By implementing surgical telepresence at the hospital, we’ve created an opportunity for mentorship and physician development within the surgical field of Single Port Robotics,” said Dr. Stifleman. 

With a recent grant, Drs. Stifleman, Mutahar and team will implement a 2 day training course for residents and fellows that includes the use of surgical telepresence with the Da Vinci Single Port (SP). The local team at Hackensack University Medical Center has already secured the SP mobile system for hands-on rotations on the hydrogel models produced by the University of Rochester. The course will take place this coming September at Hackensack University Medical Center for a maximum of 30 resident / fellow participants. 

Telepresence with the Single Port is a new program by Intuitive that is currently being rolled out to hospitals globally, and is used as a teaching, mentorship and case observation tool.

The unique and innovative telepresence and telementoring service allows surgeons to collaborate in real time on procedures where they are able to:

  • Connect with the experts in specific procedures
  • Receive peer affirmation and reinforcement during live da Vinci procedures
  • Shorten the learning curve with less frustrations and plateaus

“This is a wonderful opportunity to teach a far less invasive surgical approach to countless surgeons around the world in the comfort of their own facilities,”explained Dr. Ahmed. “These physicians learn about the benefits of utilizing only one incision - including lower morbidity associated with elimination of multiple ports, shorter length of hospital stay, and better cosmetic looking incision - without having to waste time traveling, it’s a much more convenient way of teaching.”

While other Da Vinci instruments include multi-quadrant access, the Da Vinci SP involves only a single arm that delivers three multi-jointed instruments, making it an innovative, dynamic instrument for narrow, deep spaces. A single, small incision helps surgeons perform more complex procedures in a minimally invasive way, resulting in less pain and fewer complications. 

Hackensack Meridian Health is proud to collaborate and support peers in the field, and help pave the path for the future of surgery. 




Hackensack University Medical Center, a 771-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in New Jersey. Founded in 1888 as Bergen County's first hospital, it was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet®-recognized hospital for nursing excellence. The academic flagship of Hackensack Meridian Health, Hackensack University Medical Center ranked #1 in New Jersey and #7 in the New York metro area by U.S. News & World Report’s 2021-2022 “Best Hospitals” Honor Roll, making it the only hospital in New Jersey with the #1 adult and children’s hospital rankings. Hackensack University Medical Center is also rated as High Performing in 14 specialties procedures and conditions, and sets the standard for all New Jersey hospitals in several specialties. The campus is home to facilities such as John Theurer Cancer Center, the #1 hospital for cancer care in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021-2022 "Best Hospitals" Honor Roll; the Heart & Vascular Hospital, and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, recognized as being in the top 1% of children’s hospitals in the nation and #1 children’s hospital in New Jersey by U.S. News & World Report’s 2021-22 "Best Hospitals" Honor Roll. Hackensack University Medical Center’s comprehensive clinical research portfolio includes studies focused on precision medicine, translational medicine, immunotherapy, cell therapy, and vaccine development. 

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