It improves range of motion and motor precision in ergonomically challenging surgical cases.

Our initial clinical experience in robotic single-port laparoscopy is encouraging. In the more than 100 single-port laparoscopic operations we have thus far performed, the robot allowed more precise surgery through a small umbilical incision without the ergonomic challenges that the laparoscopic approach implies. Use of the robot appears to address some of the technical challenges of single-port laparoscopic surgery.  

We recently reported in BJU International (published online ahead of print) our first three cases of robotic single-port surgery in humans. A 54-year-old man underwent radical prostatectomy, a 53-year-old man received dismembered pyeloplasty, and a 55-year-old woman had a radical nephrectomy to remove a kidney mass.

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All three patients had minimal pain after surgery and no pain one week later; there were no intraoperative complications. Since then, we have expanded our series to include single-port robotic partial nephrectomy, sacrocolpopexy, and ureteral reimplantation.

Use of the da Vinci robotic surgical system in single-port surgery improved range of motion and motor precision over the use of non-robotic laparoscopic instruments. This was particularly beneficial in intracorporeal suturing.

While additional studies are needed, we believe that robotic single-port surgery has great potential.

Dr. Kaouk does surgery proctoring sponsored by Intuitive Surgical, Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif., manufacturer of the da Vinci® robotic surgical system.