Comparison of laparoscopic pyeloplasty with and without robotic assistance.

Jonathan E. Bernie, Ramakrishna Venkatesh, James Brown, Thomas A. Gardner, Chandru P. Sundaram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: The benefits of laparoscopic surgery with robotic assistance (da Vinci Robotic Surgical System, Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, CA) includes elimination of tremor, motion scaling, 3D laparoscopic vision, and instruments with 7 degrees of freedom. The benefit of robotic assistance could be most pronounced with reconstructive procedures, such as pyeloplasty. We aimed to compare laparoscopic pyeloplasty, with and without robotic assistance, during a surgeon's initial experience to determine whether robotic assistance has distinct advantages over the pure laparoscopic technique. METHODS: We retrospectively compared the first 7 laparoscopic pyeloplasties with the first 7 robotic pyeloplasties performed by a single surgeon. All patients were preoperatively evaluated with computed tomographic angiography with 3D reconstruction to image crossing vessels at the ureteropelvic junction. All patients were followed up by lasix renograms and routine clinic visits. RESULTS: Patients were similar with respect to mean age (34 in laparoscopic pyeloplasty group vs 32 in the robotic pyeloplasty group), operative time (5.2 hours vs 5.4 hours), estimated blood loss (40 mL vs 60 mL), and hospital stay (3 days vs 2.5 days). Two patients in the laparoscopic pyeloplasty group had small anastomotic leaks managed conservatively, and one patient in the robotic pyeloplasty group had a febrile urinary tract infection necessitating treatment with intravenous antibiotics. Another patient in the robotic pyeloplasty group was readmitted with hematuria that was treated conservatively without transfusion. No recurrences were detected in either group. CONCLUSIONS: Operating times and outcomes during the learning curve for laparoscopic pyeloplasty were similar to those for robotic pyeloplasty. Long-term data with greater experience is needed to make definitive conclusions about the superiority of either technique and to justify the expense of robotic pyeloplasty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-261
Number of pages4
JournalJSLS : Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons / Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005


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