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Volume 9, Pages 479-489
Review Article

Role of Robot-Assisted Pelvic Surgery

Department of Urology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, And Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC, USA

Received 23 July 2008; Revised 30 January 2009; Accepted 17 May 2009

Academic Editor: Gopal Badlani

Copyright © 2009 Iqbal Singh and Ashok K Hemal.


The purpose of this study was to assess the current role of robot-assisted urological surgery in the female pelvis. The recently published English literature was reviewed to evaluate this role, with special emphasis on reconstructive procedures. These included colposuspension for genuine female stress urinary incontinence, repair of female genitourinary fistulas, ureterosciatic hernias, sacrocolpopexy for vault prolapse, ureterolysis and omental wrap for retroperitoneal fibrosis, ureteric reimplantation, and bladder surgery. To date, a wide spectrum of urogynecological reconstructive procedures have been performed with the assistance of the surgical robot and have been reported worldwide. Currently, a number of female pelvic ablative and reconstructive procedures are technically feasible with the aid of the surgical robot. While the role of robot-assisted surgery for bladder cancer, ureterolysis, ureteric reimplantation, repair of genitourinary fistulas, colposuspension, and sacrocolpopexy is nearly established among urologists, other procedures, such as myomectomy, simple hysterectomy, trachelectomy, and Wertheim's hysterectomy, are still evolving with gynecologists. The advantages of robot assistance include better hand-eye coordination, three-dimensional magnified stereoscopic vision with depth perception, intuitive movements with increased precision, and filtering of hand tremors. For most of the currently performed procedures in selected patients, the robot-assisted surgical outcomes appear to be relatively superior as compared to an open and purely laparoscopic surgical procedure.