Robotic kidney transplantation: dream or future?

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Kidney transplantation is the preferred modality for the treatment of patients with end-stage renal disease. Robot-assisted kidney transplantation (RAKT) has been in use since 2002 to reduce morbidity in open kidney transplantation. The aim of this review is to highlight the most relevant publications on this challenging surgical topic.

Recent findings

Recent publications suggest that minimally invasive techniques in kidney transplantation, including RAKT, have shown promising results particularly with regard to complications and recovery, reducing postoperative pain and analgesic requirement with a better cosmetic result. Regarding complications, RAKT seems to be a safe surgical alternative to open kidney transplantation.

Summary

When performed by surgeons with robotic and kidney transplantation experience, RAKT is safe and reproducible in selected cases while maintaining excellent graft function. The ideal indication of RAKT seems to be for morbidly obese patients ineligible for open kidney transplantation. Further investigations need to confirm this promising data.

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