Objectives: To report our technique of robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical cystectomy with a modified Pfannenstiel incision. Robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical cystectomy has been gaining in popularity. A completely intracorporeal procedure is a technically difficult and time-consuming procedure. Most surgeons perform the diversion using a small incision, typically midline, that is also used for specimen retrieval. Methods: Radical cystectomy and pelvic lymph node dissection was performed using a da Vinci robotic platform in a standard fashion. The robot was undocked and an 8-10 cm modified Pfannenstiel incision made. A self-retaining retractor was used to expose the wound. The specimen was extracted, and an ileal neobladder was reconstructed using the incision. Results: We have performed this procedure in 14 patients to date. The mean age was 58 years (range 56-61). The mean estimated blood loss was 310 ± 220 mL, and the mean operating time was 6 ± 0.8 hours. No intraoperative visceral injuries were noted. None of the patients had positive surgical margins. The mean number of lymph nodes removed was 12 ± 3. The mean hospital stay was 8.5 days. Conclusions: Our initial experience with our technique of robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical cystectomy and neobladder construction using a modified Pfannenstiel incision has been favorable. The incision provides good exposure, facilitating neobladder reconstruction, can be used for specimen retrieval, and heals better with a cosmetic scar.
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