Purpose: We investigated the accuracy and use of a robotic surgical arm compared to a human surgical assistant during urological laparoscopic surgery. Materials and Methods: A total of 11 patients undergoing pelvic laparoscopic procedures that required identical bilateral surgical manipulations was evaluated. On 1 side a robotic surgical arms was used to manipulate the laparoscopic camera, while on the contralateral side the camera was positioned by a human surgical assistant. The side (left versus right) on which the robot was used was alternated with each case. Parameters assessed included operative time, erroneous camera motions, complications and outcome. Results: All procedures were successfully completed without complications. Laparoscopic camera positioning was significantly steadier with less inadvertent movements when under robotic control (p less than 0.0005). Operative times during dissections using the robot or human assistant were not statistically different. Conclusions: A robotic device can more effectively manipulate and accurately control the video endoscope than a human assistant during laparoscopic procedures.
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