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J.Jpn. Surg. Soc.. 123(6): 561-567, 2022

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Department of Pediatric Surgery, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan

Hiroyuki Koga, Takanori Ochi, Atsuyuki Yamataka

The application of robotic technology to pediatric surgery poses unique challenges that current technology cannot fully address. There has been slow uptake at many pediatric surgical centers around the world due to cost and equipment issues as currently available systems were primarily designed and developed for use in adults. Robotic surgery minimizes stresses related to therapeutic interventions, most readily appreciated during fine suturing and meticulous dissection, but is limited by size constraints. The ergonomics required for the da Vinci platform are generally incompatible with the limited working spaces available in very small children. This article reviews the current state of robotics within the fields of pediatric surgery/urology. As experience of complex pediatric laparoscopic/thoracoscopic procedures performed with robotic enhancement increases, operating surgeons will be able to contribute to improving hardware that will enhance patient outcomes. Robotic surgery systems have great promise but require further customizing to deliver their benefits specifically to pediatric patients, especially smaller children, infants, and neonates.

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