Published online Nov 14, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i42.7240
Peer-review started: April 30, 2021
First decision: June 13, 2021
Revised: June 27, 2021
Accepted: October 20, 2021
Article in press: October 20, 2021
Published online: November 14, 2021
Core Tip: Here, we introduce the concept of digital surgery and why it is important for everyone involved in the area of gastroenterological disease management. The current state and near-future of the art in this area are discussed, including the use of artificial intelligence methods to provide intraoperative real-time augmented decision making. Moral, ethical and legal challenges pertinent to digital surgery are explored, including the concerns relating to big data in health care and the transitioning role of industry in surgical development, as well as the implications such profound and imminent changes may have on the role of the clinician.