Robotic and robotic assisted procedures are rapidly increasing in popularity amongst practicing surgeons and urologists. Robotic techniques are now commonly used to perform radical prostatectomies for prostate cancer and pyeloplasties for uretero-pelvic junction obstruction. Other robotic procedures include robotic assisted coronary artery bypass and partial nephrectomies. We initially studied the da Vinci surgical robot in order to determine the feasibility of adapting the robot to microsurgical vasovasostomy and vasoepididymostomy. In this paper, we describe our experience in developing a set of practice exercises using the da Vinci robot to prepare for these microsurgical procedures. We also review the design and results of our studies of robotic microsurgical vasovasostomy and vasoepididymostomy in rats.Finally, we discuss the potential future roles of robotic microsurgery in urology and surgery.
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