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UR OL OG I C S U R G ERY Robots Advance the Reach of Urologic Surgeons Surgeons increasingly are using robotic surgery to operate on patients, resulting in less blood loss, less pain and faster recovery. Since 2003, UCLA urologic surgeons have performed more than 3,000 procedures robotically to treat prostate, bladder and kidney cancer. The robots don’t do the surgeries themselves; a surgeon and a dedicated team control the robotic arms and their highly maneuverable “endowrists,” which grasp the surgical instruments, from a console as they operate through small incisions. A high-definition image of the surgical field is provided by a camera that is inserted through a separate incision. Robert Reiter, MD, director of UCLA’s Prostate Cancer Program, operated with his hands for 13 years before moving to robots in 2003. “It’s almost hard to remember [what it was like],” Dr. Reiter says. “The robots provide a far better operation. They’re more precise. There’s far less blood loss. There’s better visualization. It’s less invasive and less painful.” In traditional laparoscopic surgery, Dr. Reiter adds, “the instruments did not have any rotation so they didn’t function like a human hand. There was only two-dimensional vision. In robotic surgery, there is magnification, and you can get to places through smaller incisions. All of these things provide significant advantages.” Robots were first used in urologic surgery for prostate-cancer surgery, followed by bladder and kidney-cancer procedures. In addition, urologic surgeons use the robots to treat ©2015 Intuitive Surgical, Inc. UCLAHEALTH.ORG 1-800-UCLA-MD1 (1-800-825-2631)