Getting ready for the first robotic prostatectomy, from basics to real practice

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) has been embraced by urologists and has become a treatment standard in many countries already. Learning how to perform a RARP is challenging and has not yet been standardized. The current review summarizes the latest concepts regarding the most effective way of training for RARP.

Recent findings

The strategy to learn RARP should comprise didactic activities, skills lab training, participating in surgeries and mentorship. Skills lab and virtual simulators are valuable tools to develop manual abilities and to overcome the initial technical learning curve. Participating in surgeries is crucial for familiarization with the robot installation, steps of the surgical procedure and is essential for troubleshooting. Mentorship improves learning and is the safest way to initiate real practice. Innate and individual background variances were suggested to influence the learning process; however, there is paucity of robust evidence correlating previous surgical experience and, for example videogame playing with faster learning of RARP. Structured curricula were proposed to orient the training for robotic surgery; currently, only one is focused exclusively on urology.

Summary

Systematic training is the most effective way to learn and surpass the possibly intense learning curve of RARP. Training activities should focus on developing cognitive and manual abilities. The existing curricula for robotic surgery training still require constant refinement; however, they offer good and structured guidance to train for RARP.

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