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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 326-332

Robotic single port surgery: Current status and future considerations

Department of Urology, Center for Robotic and Laparoscopic Surgery, Glickman Urologic and Kidney Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA

Correspondence Address:
Jihad H Kaouk
Glickman Urologic and Kidney Institute, 9500 Euclid Avenue/Q10-1, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, 44115
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-1591.128504

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Introduction and Objectives: It has been established that robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery has several advantages when compared with standard laparoscopic surgery. Optics, ergonomics, dexterity and precision are all enhanced with the use of a robotic platform. For these reasons, it was postulated that the application of robotics to laparoendoscopic single-site surgery (LESS) could overcome some of the constraints seen with the conventional laparoscopic approach. Issues such as instrument clashing, inability to achieve effective triangulation for dissection and difficulties with intracorporeal suturing have limited the widespread adoption of conventional LESS. The application of robotics has eliminated many of the constraints experienced with conventional LESS; however, challenges still remain. Materials and Methods: A systematic literature review was performed using PubMed to identify relevant studies. There were no time restrictions applied to the search, but only studies in English were included. We used the following search terms: Robotic single site surgery, robotic single port surgery, robotic single incision surgery and robotic laparoendoscopic single site surgery. Results: A number of centers have published their experience with robotic-laparoendoscopic single-site surgery (R-LESS); however, no prospective studies exist. What is clear is that R-LESS minimizes several of the difficulties experienced with conventional LESS, including intracorporeal suturing and triangulation during dissection. Outcomes are comparable to standard robotic surgery, with a trend toward improved cosmesis and reduced pain. However, a significant advantage with regard to these two factors has yet to be demonstrated. Conclusions: R-LESS is technically feasible and the benefits of robotic surgery eliminate many of the challenges seen with conventional LESS. However, despite the advantages of the robotic platform, R-LESS is not free of challenges. Instrument clashing remains an issue due to the bulky profile of the current robotic system. Other issues include lack of space for the assistant at the bedside, inability to incorporate the 4 th robotic arm for retraction and difficulties with triangulation. Although solutions for some of these issues are currently under development, R-LESS is still very much in its infancy.

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