Training in robotic surgery is well structured and follows a specific modular training plan.
"Young urologists who are faced with the question of how to use their 6-month learning period in the operating theatre usually opt for robotic surgery these days."
Dr. Carlo Bravi
But does that mean that open surgery is already obsolete?
Of course not, there are still many situations that may require a switch from robotic to open surgery. Moreover, open surgery is often cheaper and can be used in any surgical setting.
"Just because we don't have evidence that robotic surgery is worse doesn't necessarily mean that robotic and open surgery are equivalent."
Prof. Shahrokh Shariat from Vienna
Dr. Bravi is also sure that the debate is not just about robotic or open surgery. It is more or less a debate about the future of what urology should look like. It has to deal with the lives and expectations of young professionals, as well as with the new demands in the field. However, he seems convinced that open and robotic surgery will continue to coexist.
"Young urologists will continue to be best trained in both techniques to be ready for future demands."
Dr. O'Brien is a urological surgeon at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London, UK. He is also the former president of BAUS, the British Association of Urological Surgeons.
Dr. Bravi is a urologist based in Ghent, Belgium. One of his main interests is robotic surgery, and he is also active in the field of uro-oncology.