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Robotic Surgery May be Costlier but Safer


(Reuters) - Patients who have robot-assisted surgeries on their kidneys or prostate have shorter hospital stays and a lower risk of having a blood transfusion or dying -- but the bill is significantly higher, a study found.

The analysis, which appeared in the Journal of Urology, compared increasingly common robotic surgery with two other techniques for the same surgery and found that direct costs can be up to several thousand dollars higher for the robotic type.

Touted as less invasive and more efficient, robotic surgeries typically use a laparoscopic or "keyhold surgery" approach, in which tools and a tiny video camera are inserted into the body through one or two small incisions.

For more info: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/05

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