Robotic surgery in the COVID-19 era: Urologists take on the challenges

October 06, 2020

Robotic surgery plays a major role in modern management of prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and other conditions treated by urologists. But it also poses some special challenges as hospitals resume elective surgery amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Problems and solutions facing urologic robotic surgery in the era of COVID-19 are reviewed in Urology Practice®, an Official Journal of the American Urological Association (AUA). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Medical student Brandee Branche - along with Lance Hampton, MD, Urology Chair and Director of Robotic Surgery, and Riccardo Autorino, MD, PhD, Director of Urologic Oncology at VCU Health in Richmond, Va. - outline practical steps to performing robotic urologic surgery safely and effectively during the pandemic. They write: "At the crux of the matter is the protection of surgical staff and patients, and preservation of optimal surgical technique while adapting to new infectious disease protocols."

Screening, Prevention, and Perioperative Steps for Robotic Surgery During COVID

Robotic surgery now accounts for most minimally invasive surgical procedures performed by urologists and urologic oncologists, and will be an important priority as healthcare facilities resume non-emergency surgeries. Dr. Autorino and coauthors target key issues and recommended actions for resuming these critical procedures: The pandemic also brings changes related to informed consent procedures, procedure costs and accessibility, and possible COVID risks during the postoperative period.

Priorities for further research include strategies for prioritizing surgical procedures and the potential for viral transmission in surgical smoke. Future considerations should include whether robotic surgery consoles should be positioned outside the OR, as this could potentially decrease transmission to the operating surgeon. Dr. Autorino and colleagues emphasize studies will also be needed to confirm any steps to reduce Coronavirus transmission are effective: "While we suggest altering the operating room environment to err on the side of safety, there must be evidence to sustain such changes in the long run."
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Click here to read "Robotic Urological Surgery in the Time of COVID-19: Challenges and Solutions." DOI: 10.1097/UPJ.0000000000000163

About Urology Practice

An Official Journal of the American Urological Association (AUA), Urology Practice focuses on clinical trends, challenges and practice applications in the four areas of Business, Health Policy, the Specialty and Patient Care. Information that can be used in everyday practice will be provided to the urology community via peer-reviewed clinical practice articles (including best practices, reviews, clinical guidelines, select clinical trials, editorials and white papers), "research letters" (brief original studies with an important clinical message), the business of the practice of urology, urology health policy issues, urology education and training, as well as content for urology care team members.

About the American Urological Association

Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology, and has more than 23,000 members throughout the world. The AUA is a premier urologic association, providing invaluable support to the urologic community as it pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care through education, research and the formulation of health care policy. To learn more about the AUA visit: http://www.auanet.org.

About Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer (WKL) is a global leader in professional information, software solutions, and services for the clinicians, nurses, accountants, lawyers, and tax, finance, audit, risk, compliance, and regulatory sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with advanced technology and services.

Wolters Kluwer reported 2019 annual revenues of €4.6 billion. The group serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries, and employs approximately 19,000 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands.

Wolters Kluwer provides trusted clinical technology and evidence-based solutions that engage clinicians, patients, researchers and students with advanced clinical decision support, learning and research and clinical intelligence. For more information about our solutions, visit https://www.wolterskluwer.com/en/health and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @WKHealth.

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