Transurethral Resection of Prostate

Robotic surgical systems used for soft-tissue operations, such as those performed in urology, require very sophisticated robotic responsiveness and computer control to adapt to the deformability and mobility of the organs. Procedures performed on fixed bony structures or within the skull have the advantage of having relatively fixed points of reference to aid in robot registration.

In 1988, Davies demonstrated the feasibility of the robotic transurethral resection of the prostate using the PUMA 560 (9). The Surgeon-Assistant Robot for Prostatectomy, consisting of a small cutting blade rotating at 40,000 r.p.m., was derived from a six-axis PUMA robot to perform transurethral resection of the prostate. After further development at the Imperial College from 1993 to 1995, the Surgeon-Assistant Robot for Prostatectomy was renamed PROBOT (a robot for prostatectomy) and specifically designed to perform transurethral resection of the prostate. Studies showed that the entire resection could be successfully completed with good hemostasis (10). The major limitation of this technique was the inaccuracy in determining prostatic dimensions using transrectal ultrasound (10).

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