Robot-assisted laparoscopic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection: a minimally invasive surgical approach for testicular cancer.

Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) can been employed as primary treatment for stage I non-seminomatous germ cell tumor (NSGCT) as well as for treatment of post-chemotherapy masses. Open RPLND (O-RPLND) has long been the standard approach for lymphadenectomy, but is associated with significant morbidity. Laparoscopic RPLND (L-RPLND) was developed to mitigate the morbidity associated with O-RPLND, but is a technically challenging procedure requiring significant experience with laparoscopic dissection and suturing to remove lymph nodes behind the great vessels and to control vascular injury. Robotic RPLND (R-RPLND) has gained traction in recent years as an alternative to both O-RPLND and L-RPLND. With superior instrument dexterity and better visualization compared to L-RPLND, and with decreased morbidity, compared to O-RPLND, R-RPLND can be performed safely and effectively. With the latest advances in robotic technology, one can perform a full bilateral dissection without needing to reposition the patient or redock the robot. R-RPLND has been applied for both primary treatment as well as in patients with post-chemotherapy residual abdominal masses.

Translational andrology and urology. 2020 Jan [Epub]

Harsha R Mittakanti, James R Porter

Swedish Urology Group, Seattle, WA, USA.