LESSons in minimally invasive urology.
Dev H., Sooriakumaran P., Tewari A., Rane A.
Since the introduction of laparoscopic surgery, the promise of lower postoperative morbidity and improved cosmesis has been achieved. LaparoEndoscopic Single Site (LESS) surgery potentially takes this further. Following the first human urological LESS report in 2007, numerous case series have emerged, as well as comparative studies comparing LESS with standard laparoscopy. Technological developments in instrumentation, access and optics devices are overcoming some of the challenges that are raised when operating through a single site. Further advances in the technique have included the incorporation of robotics (R-LESS), which exploit the ergonomic benefits of ex vivo robotic platforms in an attempt to further improve the implementation of LESS procedures. In the future, urologists may be able to benefit from in vivo micro-robots that will allow the manipulation of tissue from internal repositionable platforms. The use of magnetic anchoring and guidance systems (MAGS) might allow the external manoeuvring of intra-corporeal instruments to reduce clashing and facilitate triangulation. However, the final promise in minimally invasive surgery is natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES), with its scarless technique. It remains to be seen whether NOTES, LESS, or any of these future developments will prove their clinical utility over standard laparoscopic methods.