Performing all major surgical procedures robotically will prolong wait times for surgery

Robot Surg. 2017:4:87-91. doi: 10.2147/RSRR.S135713. Epub 2017 Aug 17.


This article aimed to assess the burden of scheduling major urologic oncology procedures if all cases were performed robotically and to determine whether this would increase the time a patient would have to wait for surgery. We retrospectively determined the number of prostatectomies, radical nephrectomies, partial nephrectomies, and cystectomies at a single institution for one calendar year. A hypothetical situation was then constructed where all procedures were performed robotically. Using the allotted number of days that each surgeon was able to schedule robotic procedures, we analyzed the amount of time it would take to schedule and complete all cases. Five fellowship-trained surgeons were included in the study and accounted for 317 surgical cases. Three of the surgeons had dedicated robotic surgery (RS) time (block time), while two surgeons scheduled when there was non-dedicated RS time (open time) available. If all cases were performed robotically an additional 32 days would be needed, which could significantly increase the wait time to surgery. The limited number of robotic systems available in most hospitals creates a bottleneck effect; whereby increasing the number of cases would considerably lengthen the waiting time patients have for surgery. As RS becomes increasingly more commonplace in urology and other surgical fields, this could create a significant problem for health care systems.

Keywords: robotic; scheduling; surgical procedures.