||PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose is to review the current literature regarding robotic assistance in urogynecologic surgery and radical pelvic surgery and to discuss the future of robotics in these two areas of gynecology.
RECENT FINDINGS: When the first and only Food and Drug Administration-approved robot-assisted device, the daVinci surgical system, was approved for use in gynecology in April 2005, many procedures were translated to a robotic approach. In the field of urogynecology, much attention was given to the use of robotic assistance for sacrocolpopexy. In oncology, there was an attraction to the use of robotics for radical hysterectomies. There are a number of published observational studies comparing the outcomes of both robot-assisted laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy (RALS) and robot-assisted radical hysterectomy (RRH) to their conventional laparoscopic and open versions. Overall, the literature suggests that the use of robotics for these procedures increases operative time and cost, but decreases estimated blood loss and length of stay. The complication rates appear to be similar. Recurrence of apical prolapse after RALS appears to be similar to that in conventional laparoscopic or open sacrocolpopexy. The number of lymph nodes harvested is the same or increases with RRH, whereas the disease-free progression and overall survival are similar for all the methods of radical hysterectomy.
SUMMARY: Literature suggests that RALS and RRH have equivalent outcomes when compared to conventional laparoscopic and open techniques. The question is whether the use of robotics that combines the outcomes of an open procedure, the benefits of minimally invasive surgery, and easy adoptability will outweigh the increased cost and time associated with robotic surgery.