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Am Surg. 2013 Jan;79(1):84-9.

Robotic-assisted retroperitoneoscopic adrenalectomy: making a good procedure even better.

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  • 1Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Posterior retroperitoneoscopic adrenalectomy (PRA) is a minimally invasive procedure offering several advantages over a transabdominal laparoscopic operation. The three-dimensional optics and articulating instrumentation offered by current robotic surgical technology potentially improve this procedure. Robotic-assisted PRA (RA-PRA) was performed in patients meeting standard criteria for minimally invasive adrenalectomy. We prospectively collected demographic, clinical, perioperative, and pathologic data on patients undergoing RA-PRA. Thirty consecutive RA-PRAs were performed in 28 patients (26 unilateral and 2 bilateral). Indications for adrenalectomy included pheochromocytoma (8), hyperaldosteronism (3), hypercortisolism (8), oligometastases (5), and nonfunctional tumors (6). Mean tumor size was 3.8 ± 1.6 cm. Mean body mass index was 30.7 ± 6.5 kg/m(2). Mean operative time was 154 ± 43 minutes for unilateral total adrenalectomy. Four patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia Type 2A-associated pheochromocytomas underwent cortical-preserving procedures. Three patients experienced perioperative complications (one pneumothorax, one urinary retention, one required postoperative blood transfusion). No patient required conversion to an open procedure. Robotic surgical technology is an excellent complement to retroperitoneoscopic adrenalectomy. The three-dimensional view and ergonomic advantages of a robotic procedure promote better visualization and a more flexible approach to dissection. We believe these features may optimize the ability to maintain a vascularized remnant during minimally invasive cortical-sparing adrenalectomy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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