Robotics in laparoscopic urology

S Kaul, M Menon
Minimally Invasive Therapy & Allied Technologies: MITAT 2005, 14 (2): 62-70
Following the successful application of the da Vinci robot in minimally invasive radical prostatectomy, several surgeries are now being performed with the assistance of the robot. These include both upper tract and lower tract surgeries such as nephrectomy, pyeloplasty and sacrocolpopexy and both ablative and reconstructive procedures. This article attempts to put into perspective the current role of the da Vinci Surgical system in urologic surgery and discusses in brief new developments in robotic technology that are on the horizon. A MEDLINE search was performed and published data on robot-assisted urologic procedures were reviewed. Abstracts presented at major international conferences in the last two years were also reviewed. Studies presenting operative and functional data for more than five patients were used in the review. There has been an explosive increase in the number of urologic procedures being attempted using Da Vinci assistance. Many, such as partial nephrectomy, donor nephrectomy, cystoprostatectomy, ureteral reimplantation and vasovasostomy are in the phase of feasibility studies, however others such as radical prostatectomy and pyeloplasty have one year functional results available which are comparable to those of other minimally invasive approaches. We believe that robotic technology represents the future of minimally invasive surgery and applications for the robot will expand as more centers report their results.

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