Background: Reports of robot-assisted live donor nephrectomies (LDNs) have been emerging in the literature. We sought to examine the national incidence of robot-assisted LDNs and to assess regional use and economic differences in robot-assisted versus laparoscopic LDN. Methods: Data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) were used to identify patients who underwent either laparoscopic or robot-assisted LDN between 2009 and 2011. Descriptive analysis was performed to examine differences between the laparoscopic and robot-assisted groups. Results: A total of 4,163 cases of LDN were performed using robot-assistance or pure laparoscopic surgery between 2009 and 2011. Of these, 142 were classified as robot-assisted nephrectomies; these cases were all from the western United States. There was no difference in the incidence of complications between the laparoscopic and robot-assisted groups (P=0.206). Median (interquartile range [IQR]) total charges for robot-assisted LDN were $48,639 ($42,380-$53,050) vs $37,019 ($28,715-$48,816) for laparoscopic cases (P<0.001). Conclusions: The role of robotic assistance in LDN remains to be determined; we identified no benefits to robotic assistance in our study.
ASJC Scopus subject areas