Robotic surgery can pave the way for new perspectives and dismiss the critical issues still related to the laparoscopic approach. This is based on a study conducted by doctors at Humanitas and coordinated by Dr. Nicolo Buffi, an urologist part of the medical team of Prof. Giorgio Guazzoni. This particular study was published in the prestigious “European Urology Focus”.


What is adrenalectomy?

The term adrenalectomy (or laparoscopic adrenalectomy) refers to the removal of one or both of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are located above the kidneys and they are responsible for regulating the stress response through the synthesis of corticosteroids and catecholamines. In most cases, the need to remove one of the adrenal glands is the result of adrenal adenomas. Adrenal adenomas produce substances that determine the evaluation of blood pressure. In other less frequent cases, tumor diseases are the main cause.


What are the contraindications to the laparoscopic approach in the treatment of adrenal diseases?

Laparoscopic adrenalectomy was introduced in 1992 and has gradually been replaced by open surgery. Open surgery is considered the proper choice for treatment of benign pathologies of the adrenal glands. The laparoscopic approach is contraindicated due to the reduced maneuver of surgical instruments and the massive adrenal masses. The study conducted by Humanitas urologists highlights the use of robots to significantly reduce these criticalities, thus lowering the risk of complications.


What aspects were highlighted in the study conducted by Humanitas urologists?

Nowadays, the scientific community has recognized the many advantages of the robot-assisted approach. These advantages include reduced blood loss, reduced hospitalization stay, and lower risk of complications. To date, the widespread use of this procedure is only limited due to the availability of the da Vinci robot and associated costs.


Although they have not yet been properly studied, the results in short and long-term robot-assisted adrenalectomy are positive. It seems that this approach is a viable option for selected patients and it combines the benefits of minimally invasive surgery to robotic surgery precision.