Robotic hypospadias surgery: a new evolution
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- Casale, P. & Lendvay, T.S. J Robotic Surg (2010) 3: 239. doi:10.1007/s11701-009-0165-3
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The dictum that “there is nothing new in surgery not previously described,” is quoted regularly and is particularly true of hypospadias. There is an ongoing search for solutions to many troublesome issues concerning surgical treatment of hypospadias, such as what age is the most appropriate to apply surgery, or in how many stages surgery should be performed. We present a case report of the first robotic hypospadias surgery to propose a departure from the standard practice, in the hope of expanding medical expertise and teaching globally. The use of a robot for reconstructive surgery is not novel; its use for extracorporeal surgery is, but we contend that there is no difference in the surgical steps to carry out a hypospadias repair. In addition, we envision that the benefits of applying robotic surgery for extracorporeal reconstructive procedures will greatly impact the current paradigm of surgery and surgical education. For those surgeons who already possess comfort with robotic skills, reconstructive procedures outside of a major cavity are feasible, and time will provide safety and efficacy data. Our hope is that others will join in the advancement of telesurgery and its applications and appreciate the potential expansion of surgical knowledge that will be afforded by this change in how we teach and operate.