Background. Minimally invasive laparoscopic nephrectomy is a well-established alternative to open surgery in living donors for kidney transplantation. Donor mortality and morbidity rates as well as recipient outcome are comparable to the open approach. Furthermore, the procedure is associated with reduced donor discomfort, faster recovery, and improved cosmetic results. Recently, an advanced robotic system for laparoscopic surgery was approved for use in the United States. This system allows a greater freedom of movement and recreates the hand-eye coordination and three-dimensional vision that is lost in standard laparoscopic procedures. Methods. We report the first 12 successful cases of robotic-assisted laparoscopic living donor nephrectomy performed using the da Vinci Surgical System (Intuitive Surgical, Mountain View, CA). Results. Our initial experience has shown that the system allows the performance of donor nephrectomy in a safe and accurate fashion. Conclusions. As technology continues to evolve, robotic-assisted surgery has the potential to become a widely used attractive alternative to standard laparoscopic donor nephrectomy.
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