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Urology. 2006 Jul;68(1):70-4.

Comparison of surgical performance during laparoscopic radical prostatectomy of two robotic camera holders, EndoAssist and AESOP: a pilot study.

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James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.



Robotic camera holders provide steady camera movement and view during laparoscopic surgery. We compared two such robots, EndoAssist and AESOP, by evaluating timed setup and surgical performance during laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP).


We prospectively collected data for 20 patients undergoing LRP using either the EndoAssist or AESOP. AESOP was mounted to the surgical bed and controlled by an experienced assistant using a hand-held remote control. The EndoAssist device was placed over the patient's right shoulder. Its movements were executed by the surgeon using a head-mounted optical emitter with brief head movements detected by a sensor mounted atop the surgeon's video monitor. The robot setup time and LRP operative steps were timed and compared between the two cohorts.


The time for robot setup favored AESOP over the EndoAssist (2.0 minutes versus 5.3 minutes, P = 0.001). The time for accomplishing vas deferens and seminal vesicle dissection favored the EndoAssist (23 minutes versus 33 minutes, P = 0.04). However, no statistically significant difference was found in the efficiency of task performance between the two robots in any of the other 11 steps measured.


The EndoAssist appears to be equally efficient to the assistant-controlled AESOP robot with respect to surgical performance during LRP. The advantages of the EndoAssist include its accurate response and ability to provide the surgeon with complete control of the desired operative view without relying on an assistant. Its disadvantages include its large profile, lack of a table-mounted design, and the need for pedal activation. Additional modifications are needed to improve the efficiency and design of this novel robotic device further.

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