Robotic urologic surgery shows benefits for both physician, patient

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While cost remains a concern, incorporating robotics into urologic laparoscopy appears to improve the experience for patients and physicians alike.

Key Points

While cost remains a concern, incorporating robotics into urologic laparoscopy appears to improve the experience for patients and physicians alike, according to several abstracts being presented at the 2012 AUA annual meeting.

"Whether you're a proponent of the robot or not, it's becoming very clear that it's putting minimally invasive urologic surgery into more hands" than would perform it if the robot weren't available, Dr. Wolf said.

"Those of us who have done both types of surgery know that we don't hurt as much after doing robotic surgery," said Dr. Wolf. Indeed, investigators observed that robotic surgery produced lower scores than did standard laparoscopy in all variables studied.

"This research further supports the concept that for the physician, surgery is a contact sport. It takes a toll on your body, and the robot makes it a little bit easier on you."

Dr. Wolf also suggested that robotic assistance might extend the careers of experienced urologic surgeons who otherwise might retire or reduce their workload. Keeping experienced surgeons working could increase access to care and the safety of care provided, he said.

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