Minimally Invasive Urology at UTMB

UTMB > Programs > Robotic Urology

Services: Minimally Invasive and Robotic Urology

Urology at UTMB Health was an early adopter of the robotic platform with the development of the robotic assisted prostatectomy. As use of the surgical robot became more widespread, its use was expanded to treat a number of different complex surgical problems. Robotic surgery has many of the same benefits of laparoscopic surgery including smaller incisions, less pain and quicker recovery time. Procedures that require more delicate dissection, or complex reconstructive maneuvers can be facilitated by the robot, as it allows for exact and precise reproduction of surgeon hand and wrist movements.

Robotic Prostatectomy

Robotic Prostatectomy is a common treatment for clinically localized prostate cancer. The procedure involves complete removal of the prostate and seminal vesicles, as well as reconnecting the bladder to the urethra. The robotic platform allows for improved 3D visualization of the anatomy, and the ability to perform complex reconstruction in the confined space of the pelvis. It is usually performed using five or six tiny incisions in the lower abdomen. Potential advantages over the robotic approach, as compared to a traditional open approach, include decreased blood loss, decreased post operative pain, quicker discharge from the hospital post procedure, and quicker overall recovery from surgery. There are studies suggesting that return of urinary continence and erectile function may be quicker using the robotic approach. [Read more]

Robotic Pyeloplasty

Robotic Pyeloplasty is a treatment for congenital or acquired obstruction of the ureteropelvic junction. It involves removal of a diseased portion of the ureter as it exits the kidney, followed by reattachment of healthy ureter to the kidney. Traditionally this procedure has been done using an open approach through an incision in the flank or side. Laparoscopic approaches were then developed that allowed for the procedure to be performed through small incisions. With the introduction of the robotic platform, the procedure can be completed through small incisions, but with the added advantages of 3D vision and instruments that mimic the wrist movements of the surgeon. This can allow for more precise dissection and reconstruction of the diseased kidney. [Read More]

Robotic Partial Nephrectomy

Robotic Partial Nephrectomy is a treatment option for small, localized kidney tumors. It can usually be performed through four of five tiny incisions. It allows for removal of kidney tumors, without the need to remove the entire kidney. The procedure involves exposure of the tumor, clamping of the renal artery and vein (to minimize bleeding), removal of the tumor, followed by suturing the defect in the kidney that is left after the tumor is removed. Fluorescence imaging is available on the robotic camera and may be used to help localize renal vessels as well as tumors. [Read More]


UTMB’s laparoscopic service line is proud to have three Urologists who are highly trained in the skills of laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic surgery offers great benefits to our patients because of decreased recovery time, decreased pain, and a more cosmetic surgical outcome. The procedures are performed through tiny holes made on the abdomen that our instruments are passed through. Through these tiny holes we are able to achieve the same surgery as we can while making a large incision. This avoids a large surgical scar and the associated pain and convalescence from that incision.

Our laparoscopic urologists include Dr. Joseph Sonstein, Dr. Susan Tarry, and Dr. Sidney Worsham.

They offer the following laparoscopic surgeries:

  • Laparoscopic Nephrectomy (removal of the kidney)
  • Laparoscopic Nephroureterectomy (removal of the kidney, ureter, and a cuff of the bladder.)

Laparoscopic kidney surgery is performed for removal of the kidney due to cancer, or due to a nonfunctioning kidney. Our patients are usually able to go home from surgery within 1-2 days after the surgery.

Call for assistance day or night 409-772-2222



Call the Division of Urology Main Office: (409) 772-2091
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Contact One of Our Clinics:


Surgical Specialties
University Hospital Clinics
1005 Harborside Dr.
Galveston, TX 77555
Phone: 409-772-2222
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Adult Primary and Specialty Care, Texas City
10121 Emmett F. Lowry Expwy.,
Texas City, TX 77591
(409) 986-9686.
[view map] [visit clinic website]


Specialty Care Center at Victory Lakes, Surgical Specialty Clinic
2240 Gulf Freeway South, Suite 2.100
(832) 505-1800
[view map] [visit clinic website]

UTMB Robotic Surgery Information

Did you know?

According to the National Kidney Foundation, kidney and urologic diseases affect more than 26 million people. More than 85,000 US adults die each year from kidney failure. The number of people affected by these diseases is expected to grow.

The most serious and debilitating of kidney and urinary tract diseases includes end-stage renal disease (ESRD); kidney stone disease; urinary incontinence; benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH); interstitial cystitis; urinary tract infection; and polycystic kidney disease.

Other diseases also have a tremendous impact on the disability and death associated with kidney and urologic diseases, including cancer, diabetes and hypertension.


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