Robotic RPLND is a newer approach that accomplishes the same goals as traditional RPLND. As with the traditional surgery, robotic RPLND removes the lymph nodes from the back of the abdomen. (Testicular cancer can commonly spread to this part of the body.)
For more detailed information on RPLND, including benefits, potential complications, and post-operative recovery, see our primary RPLND page.
In order to perform robotic RPLND, the surgeon makes a series of small (1/2-inch) incisions and inserts a camera and instruments through them. The camera provides optimal visualization and magnification of the surgical field, and a robotic surgical system permits extremely fine movement by the surgeon as he or she operates in this delicate area.
Robotic RPLND is relatively new (the first published results on this technique appeared in the journal Urology in 2006). Early results show that, in certain patients, a Robotic RPLND can be as safe and effective as a traditional RPLND. The smaller incisions tend to heal faster and leave less noticeable scars than the larger (10-inch) incision used in a traditional RPLND. Patients who undergo the robotic surgery are often able to leave the hospital a day or so sooner, and their overall recovery time is typically shorter.
Robotic RPLND is ideally suited to those undergoing RPLND for Stage I disease or for those with limited amounts of tumor spread. Additionally, there are other factors which may make robotic RPLND a good option for you. We would welcome the opportunity to meet you and discuss your specific situation. Together, we can determine the best treatment plan for you.