Robotic-Assisted Testicular Autotransplantation

Urology. 2022 Jan:159:255. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2021.09.020. Epub 2021 Oct 8.


Silber and Kelly first described the successful autotransplantation of an intra-abdominal testis in 1976. Subsequent authors incorporated laparoscopy and demonstrated the viability of transplanted testes based on serial postoperative exams. We sought to extend this experience with use of the da Vinci surgical robot, thereby demonstrating a novel robotic technique for the management of cryptorchidism. The procedure was performed for an 18-year-old male with a solitary left intra-abdominal testis. Following establishment of pneumoperitoneum, the robot is docked with four trocars oriented towards the left lower quadrant. Testicular dissection is carried out as shown. The gonadal and inferior epigastric vessels are isolated and mobilized; once adequate length is achieved, the former is clipped and transected, and the testicle and inferior epigastric vessels are delivered out of the body. The robot is then undocked and exchanged for the operating microscope. Arterial and venous anastomoses are completed with interrupted and running 9-0 Nylon, respectively, and satisfactory re-anastomosis is confirmed visually and with Doppler. The transplanted testicle is then fixed inferiorly and laterally within the left hemiscrotum, and all incisions are closed. We note that intraoperative testicular biopsy was not performed, for three reasons: (1) to avoid further risk to an already tenuous, solitary organ, (2) because our primary aim was to preserve testicular endocrine function, and (3) because the presence of ITGCN would neither prompt orchiectomy nor obviate the need for ongoing surveillance via periodic self-examination and ultrasonography. The patient is maintained on bed rest for two days and discharged on postoperative day seven in good condition. Over one year since autotransplantation, his now intra-scrotal testicle remains palpable and stable in size. Serum testosterone is unchanged from preoperative measurements. Robotic-assisted testicular autotransplantation is a feasible and efficacious management option for the solitary intra-abdominal testis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cryptorchidism / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures*
  • Testis / transplantation*
  • Transplantation, Autologous / methods*
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures, Male / methods