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A Journal on Nephrology and Urology

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Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica 2008 September;60(3):185-96

language: English

Robotic renal surgery

Sairam K., Elhage O., Murphy D., Challacombe B., Hegarty N., Dasgupta P.

Department of Urology Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trust King’s College School of Medicine, London, UK


Robotic surgery is being increasingly used for prostatectomy. Its use in renal surgery has been limited by a perception that it does not offer any extra benefit. This article explores the use of robot assistance in renal surgery. Extensive literature search undertaken using Medline and Pubmed. The following keywords were used during the search: robot, robotic, kidney, renal, nephrectomy, partial nephrectomy, pyeloplasty. Relevant articles were extracted and data from these articles presented in the review. Comments on relevant aspects of either technique or results are provided. Apart from initial feasibility studies, little has been published on robot assisted laparoscopic nephrectomy (RALN) for diseased kidneys. Most of the cases of RALN has been carried out in live donors for renal transplantation in a few enthusiastic centres. Experience with robot assisted laparoscopic pyeloplasty (RALP) is more mature. Robot assisted laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (RALPN) is continuing to evolve. Robotic NOTES is currently experimental. Robot assistance seems to have a role in reconstructive renal procedures such as pyeloplasty and partial nephrectomy, due mainly to the precise suturing ability.

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