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Urol Ann. 2019 Jul-Sep;11(3):304-309. doi: 10.4103/UA.UA_97_18.

Utilizing da Vinci® surgical system to treat challenging urinary stones.

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Department of Urology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA.



A worldwide mounting in the incidence and prevalence of urolithiasis has been observed. The standard treatment of urologic stone disease (USD) has changed from open surgery to extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL), or ureteroscopy depending on the size and location of the stone. We are sharing our experience in utilizing Da Vinci® robotic surgical system to treat patient with urolithiasis instead of open surgical approach.

Patients and Methods:

We reviewed prospectively collected data of 19 patients who underwent robotic-assisted stone surgery (RSS) between January 2010 and March 2018 at our institute for USD involving 22 nephroureteral units.


A total number of 22 RSS were accomplished with no conversion to open. Three patients had bilateral stone and needed to have RSS on each side separately. Eleven RSS were performed on the right. The indications for RSS included as follows: morbid obesity (n = 8, mean body mass index 56.4 kg/m2), need for concurrent renal surgery (n = 3) severe contractures limiting positioning for retrograde endoscopic surgery or PCNL (n = 2), symptomatic calyceal diverticular stone with failed endoscopic approach (n = 4), and after failed PCNL (n = 2). Twenty nephrouretral unit (91%) were rendered stone free on the first attempt with complication occurring after four cases (18%).


RSS is viable options in the treatment of challenging urologic stone with high success rate and low risk of complication. The need for open stone surgery was eliminated by RSS at our center.


Challenging urinary stone; open stone surgery; robotic stone surgery; stone-free rate

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