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Robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery in pediatric urology: an update

Author(s): Yoshiyuki Kojima | Jacob Khurgin | Pasquale Casale

Journal: Turkish Journal of Urology
ISSN 1300-5804

Volume: 38;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 102;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Laparoscopy | minimally invasive surgery | pediatrics | robotics | urinary tract reconstruction | urology.

Laparoscopic procedures for urological diseases in children, such as nephrectomy, pyeloplasty and orchiopexy, have proven to be safe and effective with outcomes comparable to open procedures. The main drawback has been the relatively steep learning curve for this procedure that is associated with technical difficulties such as suturing and anastomosis. More recently, robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery (RAS) has gained enormous popularity in adult urology and is increasingly being adopted around the world; however, few pediatric urology series have been reported. RAS has several advantages over conventional laparoscopic surgery, mainly the simplification and precision of exposure and suturing. The robotic arms move in real time with an increased degree of freedom and a magnified, 3-dimensional view. These features render RAS ideal for complex reconstructive surgery in a pediatric urological population. This review discusses the role of RAS in pediatric urology, provides technical aspects of RAS and offers a critical summary of current knowledge on its indications and outcomes. Almost all operations that are classically performed as open or conventional laparoscopic reconstructive surgeries for children with urological anomalies could be replaced by RAS and this procedure may be established as an alternative minimally invasive surgery in the future.
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