For years, people have been dreaming of robots. Whether it has been for science fiction or for practical uses, the idea of robots mechanically assisting us with tasks has been sought after. We used to hear people say “someday robots will do surgery for us”. That is not necessarily the case, but robots are finding more utility in assisting us with surgery. The Da Vinci® robotic system began with uses for gross surgical procedures and has expanded its utility to microsurgery. This technology particularly lends itself to fertility surgery and is uniquely useful for vasectomy reversals. Surgery that we initially tried with the naked eye, advanced through multiple technologies including optical loupes, operative microscopes, and now the operative robot. Advantages for using robotics to assist with microsurgery include the robotic endowrists allowing for seven degrees of freedom allowing for movements that the human hand and wrist cannot make, an ergonomic design for the surgeon which is less fatiguing which may enhance performance, and high definition 3D optimal visualization of a microsurgical field.
Robot assisted vasectomy reversal has gained more worldwide attention and as one of the leading experts in this operation, Dr. Parviz Kavoussi was invited to speak at the Collaborative Conference on Robotics in Phuket, Thailand. Dr. Kavoussi states, “It is wonderful to see the amount of interest this operation has stimulated worldwide and is always fun to get to share our experience and outcomes at AFRM with other nations around the world, as we continue to strive for the highest level of care by incorporating this technology here at home.”