The main topic of robotic surgery in urology is to remove the prostate harbouring localized cancer, namely to perform radical prostatectomy. The gold standard of this operation as yet is performed through a lower midline incision, and remains rather invasive. The da Vinci robot allows to work through a few 1cm incisions, which renders the procedure minimally invasive. Over 550 such operations have been now performed at our institution since early 2006. Patient outcome has been carefully monitored and recorded. This has shown the efficiency of the technique as communicated in various national and international congresses.
A further valuable indication is reconstruction of the pyelo-ureteral junction (pyeloplasty) when it is obstructed. The da Vinci robot enables now to duplicate the gold standard of open surgery (over 90 % success) with the advantage of a minimally invasive access. Over seventy patients have been operated in our Division with this high success rate, with intermediary reports presented at the Congress of the Swiss Urologic Association in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012
We have also been active in the reconstruction of the lower ureter (ureteral reimplantation with or without removal of a segment of ureter), 30 patients having benefited from minimally invasive ureteral reconstruction.
Partial ablation of the kidney for cancer has been the latest procedure to be routinely performed since the end of 2009; over a hundred procedures have been performed up to now with excellent results.
The last da Vinci innovation at our Division was the introduction of its use for living donor nephrectomy since December 2013. Over 25 procedures have been performed to date, with shortening of the hospital length of stay in comparison with the previous retro-peritoneoscopic technique. Also, the head of the robotic urology division has performed the first da Vinci living donor nephrectomy in the Middle East in February 2014.