Operative video websites

Traditionally, operations have been learnt through an apprenticeship method. Operative textbooks such as the classic Hinman’s Operative Atlas provide an excellent basis for urological practice and are a good adjunct to traditional teaching. However, increasingly textbooks cannot keep pace with operative advancements and surgeons have increasingly turned to the internet for further operative information to improve patient care and outcomes. The last few years have seen the creation of a number of websites offering educational operative videos covering a wide selection of procedures.

European Urology – Surgery in Motion


A series of free urological videos, divided into categories such as Nephrectomy, Cystectomy, Endoscopy etc can be viewed via European Urology. Audio commentary is provided with each video and additional animations are used, where appropriate, to better explain important details. Additionally, an app, EurUro SiM, has been produced allowing the user to access the same content on compatible Apple devices.

The videos are not as clear as one would hope with quality problems noted with a number of the videos sampled. The site appears to be aimed at experienced consultants with the majority of videos designed to improve techniques or showcase new technology e.g. Robot-Assisted Parital Nephrectomy, Transvaginal NOTES-Assisted Laparoscopic Nephrectomy. While interesting, from a trainees perspective, greater emphasis on established urological operations such as laparoscopic nephrectomy, percutaneous nephrolithotomy or transurethral resection of the prostate would be preferable.

Overall, this is a good start to compiling a useful educational resource but a lack of video resolution and variety of operations limits its usefulness.

Rating 5/10



ORLive provides a series of free videos in a variety of surgical specialities. The quality of the videos is superior to that of European Urology, however, the broad nature of the website limits the number of videos available for each specialty with only two urological areas represented, kidney surgery and prostatectomy.

A brief text is provided alongside each video and commentary is provided throughout each procedure with animation used to highlight important structures. Also provided with each video is a link allowing the viewer to request further information. An associated app, ORLiveGo, is available for the iPhone. The content available via the app is however limited to previews of select surgeries and is therefore of no use in urology. As with European Urology, the complexity of the procedures featured is not ideal for trainees with the majority of procedures featured being complex and involving robotics.

Despite the good video resolution and informative commentary, the number and complexity of the procedures featured makes this site of minimal use to the urologist.

Rating 2/10



As with ORLive, WeBSurg features videos from a variety of surgical specialties. Video quality is comparable to that of ORLive and, for a fee, a selection of videos are also available in high definition to download.

Unlike with ORLive, the broad nature of WeBSurg does not compromise the depth of content within each specialty and of the three sites, it has by far the greatest number of free urological operative videos available.

The videos are divided by organ and then further by pathology. Detailed written information is provided alongside each video describing each major step of the procedure e.g. positioning, opening, accessing relevant structures etc. Commentary is provided in both audio and text form and animations further highlight important information. A contents table beside each video also allows the viewer to easily navigate between the steps of the procedure. Unfortunately no associated apps are available for mobile devices.

The procedures featured are of varying complexity making this site interesting and educational for both trainees and experienced consultants alike.  However, laparoscopic and robotic procedures are the focus, with no open procedures featured. Despite this, the case number and detail provided make this site an excellent educational resource. The addition of open procedures and an associated app would likely further improve its usefulness.

Rating 7/10 


Dr Tiffany Selina Berrington, Foundation Year 1, United Kingdom
Mr Ivo Dukic, ST5 in Urology, United Kingdom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *