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Review
. 2011 Mar;21(2):121-6.
doi: 10.1097/MOU.0b013e3283435ac4.

Robotic Microsurgery 2011: Male Infertility, Chronic Testicular Pain, Postvasectomy Pain, Sports Hernia Pain and Phantom Pain

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Review

Robotic Microsurgery 2011: Male Infertility, Chronic Testicular Pain, Postvasectomy Pain, Sports Hernia Pain and Phantom Pain

Sijo J Parekattil et al. Curr Opin Urol. .

Abstract

Purpose of review: The use of robotic assistance during microsurgical procedures has evolved from its early beginnings in the early 2000s. Currently, its use is expanding in the treatment of male infertility and patients with chronic testicular or groin pain. The addition of this technology may allow an improvement in outcomes as when the operating microscope was introduced in microsurgery. However, this is yet to be proven.

Recent findings: This review covers new robotic microsurgical tools and applications of the robotic platform in microsurgical procedures such as vasectomy reversal, varicocelectomy, microsurgical denervation of the spermatic cord for chronic testicular or groin pain, post-vasectomy pain, sports hernia pain, postnephrectomy, donor nephrectomy and phantom groin pain. Preliminary animal studies show an advantage in terms of improved operative efficiency and improved surgical outcomes. Preliminary human clinical studies appear to support these findings. The use of robotic assistance during robotic microsurgical vasovasostomy appears to decrease operative duration and improve early postoperative sperm counts compared to the pure microsurgical technique.

Summary: Long-term prospective controlled trials are necessary to assess the true cost-benefit ratio for robotic assisted microsurgery. The preliminary findings are promising and evidence is mounting, but further evaluation is warranted.

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