Background There are 2 endoscopic surgical techniques that implement 3-dimensional (3D) vision to overcome visual misperception: 3D endoscopy and the da Vinci surgical system. 3D endoscopy has several advantages, such as the presence of tactile feedback and easy implementation, at lower costs. We aimed to assess whether 3D endoscopy could be an alternative to the robot during living donor nephrectomy.
Methods Between April 2015 and April 2016, we prospectively collected data on 40 patients undergoing 3D endoscopic living donor nephrectomies in 1 center, performed by a da Vinci-certified surgeon. Data on donors' perioperative results and recipient and graft survival were collected. These data were compared to 40 robot-assisted donor nephrectomies performed in the same center (between January 2012 and May 2014).
Results Baseline characteristics for both groups were comparable. Intraoperative results showed a significantly shorter median skin-to-skin time of 138.5 minutes (125.8-163.8) versus 169.0 (141.5-209.8) minutes in favor of the 3D group (P = 0.001). Warm ischemia time (P = 0.003) and hilar phase for both single (1 artery and vein) and multiple anatomies (≥1 artery and/or vein [P = 0.002 and P = 0.010, respectively]) were also significantly reduced in favor of the 3D group, with a flat learning curve. Follow-up demonstrated no readmissions nor significant differences for donors, recipients, and graft survival.
Conclusions 3D endoscopy may be a good alternative to robot-assisted donor nephrectomy because morbidity, graft, and recipient survival were comparable, with a significantly shorter median skin-to-skin time, warm ischemia time, and hilar dissection phase. Furthermore, implementation was easy and at lower costs, whereas tactile feedback was preserved.

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Journal Transplantation
Mulder, E.E.A.P, Janki, S, Terkivatan, T, Klop, K.W.J, IJzermans, J.N.M, & Tran, T.C.K. (2018). 3D Endoscopic Donor Nephrectomy Versus Robot-assisted Donor Nephrectomy. Transplantation, 102(6), e295–e300. doi:10.1097/TP.0000000000002130