Immersive Video Experiences Provide Surgeon’s-Eye View of the OR

STS 2021, Day 1 — Today during STS 2021, attendees can join master surgeons in their operating rooms for Immersive Video Experiences, a new course series that provides 360° views of five fascinating and challenging cardiothoracic procedures.

“I hope you are particularly keen on looking around the operating room, seeing every detail such as which port we're directing instruments through and how the team interacts and how they teach each other,” said Shanda H. Blackmon, MD, MPH, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. In her course, Dr. Blackmon will communicate comprehensively with the viewer and her team as they perform video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy. 


From positioning of the patient and identifying optimal entry points to skillful sparing of vital tissues, registrants will have a surgeon’s-eye view of the procedures from start to finish. They can hear the surgeons explain the patients’ histories, their goals for ideal outcomes, and their rationales for making immediate decisions as the procedures are happening.

In a new state-of-the-art operating room at NYU Langone Health in New York City, Robert J. Cerfolio, MD, MBA, will perform a complicated robotic-assisted segmentectomy on a biopsy-proven adenocarcinoma. 

“What makes this complicated is it’s sort of in between the lingula and the anterior segment,” said Dr. Cerfolio. “So the question is: Are we going to try segmentectomy and spare the lingula, or are we going to do an extended lingular resection, march along the bronchus of the anterior segment, and take some of the anterior segment with the lingula? I really would prefer the second course, but we’ll see.”

The sessions demonstrate how surgical procedures are a “team sport,” Dr. Cerfolio noted. For example, during his procedure, viewers will see how the anesthesiologist handles assembly and placement of the double lumen tubing, how intravenous access is optimized safely with a peripheral line, how the team works together to identify and extract lymph nodes, how robotic instruments and camera angles are maneuvered for precise viewing, and how the team takes care to save valuable moments during repositioning of the patient. 

“We expect the patient to go home at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow, so there will be no air leaks,” Dr. Cerfolio said.

Both Drs. Cerfolio and Blackmon will deliver advice and recommendations to their teammates and seek it out from them as well—making critical, calculated decisions in real time.  

In other “In the OR with…” sessions, Joseph A. Dearani, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, will guide viewers through twin root replacement with tricuspid repair in a patient with congenital heart disease. Joseph E. Bavaria, MD, from Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, will perform valve-sparing aortic root reimplantation. Vinod Thourani, MD, and Pradeep Yadav, MD, team up to perform transcatheter aortic valve replacement and transcatheter mitral valve-in-valve replacement from Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Each experience is a full hour, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., and the videos are filmed and edited superbly to demonstrate the essential elements of the procedures, with optimal views of the patient, the staff, and the equipment. 

“All members of the team practice routinely for emergencies, because you never know when they'll happen,” added Dr. Blackmon. “And the best way to be prepared for an emergency is either to prevent it or practice for when it happens.”


In addition to joining surgeons in the operating room, participants can join “deep dives” featuring world-class panelists during which they discuss best practices, decision-making, and challenges surrounding 11 different topics, including minimally invasive esophagectomy, transseptal puncture for surgeons, atrioventricular replacement strategies in neonates and infants, Ross and Ross-Konno procedures preventing neoaortic root dilatation, and navigating initial nights on call as a resident.

Immersive Video Experiences—which includes five “In the OR with…” and 11 “Deep Dive” sessions (16 in all)—may be added to the meeting registration for a separate fee. For those who have already registered for STS 2021 and want to add this course series, contact All five videos will be available on demand after STS 2021 for those who purchased access. 

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