What is Robotic Surgery in Urology?

Robotic or robotic surgery is surgery that is performed using specialized robot machinery. It is a very technologically advanced technique that allows the surgeon to carry out surgical procedures in a very precise way. This type of surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia.

The advantages of robotic surgery compared to traditional open surgery is that, by being able to make smaller and precise incisions, the recovery time, as well as the pain associated with the surgical intervention, is less.

In addition, through this high-precision surgery there is also a greater chance of recovering urinary continence and erectile function, which can be affected with other surgical techniques.

Why is it done?

More and more surgical treatments are being carried out through robotic surgery, due to the advantages that this represents for both the patient and the surgeon. Robotic surgery in urology is used as a treatment for prostate cancer (prostatectomy), kidney cancer (nephrectomy), bladdercancer , genital prolapse  and urethral stricture , among other pathologies.

What does it consist of?

Robotic surgery is performed through specialized robots, such as the well-known Da Vinci robot. Thanks to this equipment, the surgical instruments are fixed to the arms of the robot, and the specialist manipulates them by remote control, that is, they do not have to be in the operating room in person, since everything can be controlled through a computer station. The robot reproduces the movements of the surgeon and reduces the shaking of the human pulse, in addition to allowing surgical instruments 360º turns and other movements that are impossible for a human being.

While the surgeon specialist performs the intervention, he observes the entire procedure on a monitor through a stereoscopic visual system with 3D vision that allows him to appreciate the depth, being able to enlarge the image and therefore better see the section that operates.

Preparation for robotic surgery in Urology

Robotic surgery is a minimally invasive technique, but it is still possible that, depending on the intervention to be performed, the patient may not be able to undergo it. For this reason, it is important that the patient undergoes prior clinical analysis and their medical history is observed to know their health.

It is also likely that, depending on the surgery to be performed, the patient will have to fast for several hours before the intervention.

Post-intervention care

One of the main advantages of robotic surgery is the rapid and postoperative recovery, compared to conventional open surgery. In many cases, the patient can be discharged the same day as the intervention. In other cases, the patient may remain hospitalized for 24 hours, but generally the patient will not need to perform a special routine of care, beyond the medication prescribed by the urologist specialist to avoid postoperative pain.

Alternatives to robotic surgery in Urology

Robotic surgery is a novel system that represents a significant investment in equipment and in specific training for surgeon specialists. Thus, not all medical centers can access this method. Alternatively, urological surgeries can be carried out by conventional open surgery or, preferably, by minimally invasive surgical techniques such as urological endoscopy or laparoscopy.