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Robotic-assisted Partial Nephrectomy: Improved Outcomes with 3D Virtual Reality

Daniel Marcus';

By Daniel Marcus

Posted on November 14th, 2019 in Marina Robotics

Robotic-assisted Partial NephrectomyAccording to the new research findings, the three-dimensional (3D) virtual reality, when used in planning robotic-assisted partial nephrectomy (RAPN) can reduce the operating time, blood loss, clamp time as well as the length of hospital stay. Three-dimensional imaging influences the surgical planning of RAPN by improving the understanding of patient anatomy and enhancing the use of selective clamping of branches of renal arteries during RAPN.

RAPN has become the surgery of choice for most patients with benign kidney tumors or kidney cancer. During this procedure, the tumor is removed while the rest of the kidney is left intact.

This approach helps to maximize the postoperative kidney function as the blood supply to the kidney is cut off for a short time. While the maneuverability of the da Vinci robot is suitable for the delicate cutting and suturing needed during the surgery, the procedure is also minimally invasive, which provides several advantages to the patient including faster recovery period and minimal trauma.

Study Suggests the Use of 3D Digital Models for Cancer Surgeries Is the Need of the Hour

The study published in JAMA Network Open was a single-blind, multi-institutional, randomized clinical trial that included 92 patients who underwent RAPN between October 2017 and December 2018. Out of these subjects, 63% were males with a mean age of 60.9 years. The patients were randomly divided into two groups such as intervention consisting of 44 subjects and control consisting of 48 subjects. The analysis revealed that the patients belonging to the intervention group presented differences in major outcomes such as operative time and secondary outcomes such as clamp time, estimated blood loss and length of hospital stay. Evidence of reduced operating time by using 3D digital models suggests that it should be considered for cancer surgeries currently, not in the future. 

The surgeon will be able to visualize the patient’s anatomy in a multicolor 3D format and especially in virtual reality, which gives the surgeon a better understanding of the important structures and their relationships with each other.

Though the recent study conducted involved patients with kidney cancer, the benefits of employing 3D models for surgical planning may be translated into several other cancer operations involving the lung, liver, pancreas, and prostate gland.