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Minimally invasive robot-assisted surgery is a technological development that has changed the field of medicine in the past decade. The introduction of the da Vinci® by Intuitive Surgical Inc. has opened up many interesting options in several different fields. Specifically, the field of urology has seen increased utilization of the robotic technique due to the precision allowed by the technology. Although many perioperative and postoperative benefits have been documented within the literature pertaining to robotic surgery, some surgeons contend that the extra cost associated with the procedures is not practical. To this point the extra cost has not been prohibitive, as the number of robot-assisted procedures has continued to increase in the years since FDA approval. In this study, we employed an analysis of three of the more commonly performed da Vinci® robotic urology procedures (prostatectomy, pyeloplasty, and nephrectomy) to assess the practicality of the robotic techniques as compared to the more established methods of laparoscopic or open urologic surgery. The study results displayed that robotic integration is more practical for all three of the surgeries reviewed. Factors that influenced the results were the tendencies of robot-assisted procedures to have similar outcomes to laparoscopic or open procedures while allowing for less estimated blood loss and a shorter length of hospital stay. This paper discusses the results from the practicality evaluation as well as how these findings should be interpreted.

KEYWORDS: robotic surgery; da Vinci® robot; robotic urology; prostatectomy; pyeloplasty; nephrectomy; cystectomy

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