Robot-assisted urologic surgery: Safety and feasibility in the pediatric population

Ilya A. Volfson, Ravi Munver, Michael Esposito, George Dakwar, Moneer Hanna, Jeffrey A. Stock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess the safety and feasibility of performing robot-assisted pediatric urologic surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System (Intuitive Surgical, Inc, Sunnyvale, Calif) based on our experience with a variety of procedures. Patients and Methods: A retrospective review was performed of 53 robot-assisted pediatric procedures performed in our practice between September 2003 and March 2006. The procedures included 11 renal extirpative surgeries, 10 orchiopexies, 26 dismembered pyeloplasties, 2 uretero-ureterostomies, and 3 bladder surgeries. The mean patient age was 7.7 years, and the mean patient weight was 32 kg. All procedures were performed transperitoneally. Results: All procedures were successfully completed with no conversions to open surgery. There was one procedure in which the robotic system malfunctioned, resulting in an unrecoverable loss of three-dimensional visualization and temporary loss of color. The only postoperative complication involved delayed return of bowel function that led to a diagnostic laparotomy with negative findings. A decrease in mean postoperative stay was noted in patients who underwent robot-assisted procedures compared with previous patients who had undergone open surgery. Conclusion: Robot-assisted surgery appears to be safe and feasible for a variety of pediatric urologic procedures. Prospective randomized studies are required to further evaluate the outcomes compared with open surgical procedures. Our initial experience has been encouraging and will serve as a foundation for future and more complex minimally invasive pediatric urologic operations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1315-1318
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Endourology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


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