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10.02.2020 | Original Article

Robot set-up time in urologic surgery: an opportunity for quality improvement

Journal of Robotic Surgery
David J. Kozminski, Matthieu J. Cerf, Paul J. Feustel, Barry A. Kogan
Wichtige Hinweise

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Robotic-assisted techniques are widespread in urology. However, prolonged preparation time for robotic cases hinders operating room (OR) efficiency and frustrates robotic surgeons. Pre-operative times are an opportunity for quality improvement (QI) and enhancing OR throughput. We have previously shown that pre-operative times in robotic cases are highly variable and that increasing patient complexity was associated with longer times. Our objective was to characterize set-up times in robotic urology cases and to determine whether prolongation was due to robot set-up, in particular.

Materials and methods

Patients undergoing robotic-assisted urology procedures at our academic institution had routine peri-operative collection of demographic data and OR time stamps. Following IRB approval, we retrospectively reviewed set-up times from an OR database. Multivariable analysis was used to assess the influence of independent patient variables—gender (M/F), smoking history, age, BMI, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Physical Status Classification, and Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI)—on robot set-up times. Institutional factors including procedure, surgeon, and case year were also assessed.


A total of 808 patients undergoing 816 robotic-assisted procedures from 2013 to 2018 met inclusion criteria. Robot set-up times varied only by gender (F > M) but not by general patient complexity. Age, BMI, smoking status, ASA, and CCI did not play a role in prolonging robot set-up times. There was marked variability of robot set-up times, even within procedure type. Robot set-up times generally improved over time for a given surgeon.


Robot set-up time is not affected by patient complexity, in contrast to pre-operative time. It is affected by procedure type and does improve with experience. There is wide variability of robot set-up times and this is an important target for surgical QI.

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