Initial experience with robot-assisted varicocelectomy

Authors


Run Wang, MD, FACS, Departments of Urology, University of Texas Medical School at Houston and University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 6431 Fannin Street, MSB 6.018, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Tel: +1-713-500-7337 Fax: +1-713-500-0546 E-mail: run.wang@uth.tmc.edu

Abstract

Aim: To determine if robot-assisted varicocelectomy can be safely and effectively performed when compared to microscopic inguinal varicocelectomy. Methods: Eight patients aged 29.1 ± 12.5 years underwent microscopic subinguinal varicocelectomies: seven patients with left-sided repair, and one patient with bilateral repair. Eight patients aged 22.0 ± 8.0 years underwent robot-assisted varicocelectomies: seven patients with left-sided repair and one patient with bilateral repair. Results: The average operative time for microscopic inguinal varicocelectomy was 73.9 ± 12.2 min, whereas the robot-assisted technique took 71.1 ± 21.1 min. There were no difficulties in identifying and isolating vessels and the vas deferens with robot-assisted subinguinal varicocelectomy. Hand tremor was eliminated using the robotic procedure. Patients who underwent either microscopic or robot-assisted varicocelectomies were able to resume daily activities on the day of surgery and full activities within 2 weeks. There were no complications or recurrences of varicocele. Conclusion: From our experience, compared to microscopic surgery, robot-assisted varicocelectomy can be safely and effectively performed, with the added benefit of eliminating hand tremor.

Ancillary