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Anaesthesia for robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy: considerations for laparoscopy in the Trendelenburg position

Department of Anaesthesia and Surgical Intensive Care, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore


Two cases of anaesthetic complications after robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy using the da Vinci Remote-Controlled Surgical System are presented. Case 1 describes a patient with post-extubation respiratory distress requiring re-intubation and subsequent ventilation in an intensive care unit. This was attributed to laryngeal oedema, which was most likely due to the reduction in venous outflow from the head caused by the pneumoperitoneum and prolonged, extreme Trendelenburg position. Case 2 describes a patient with mild brachial plexus neurapraxia, which was most likely due to compression by shoulder braces (to prevent cephalad sliding) during the exaggerated head-down tilt. For this procedure, the authors recommend limiting the duration and extent of head-down tilt as much as possible, avoiding excessive intravenous fluids and careful positioning of the patient with avoidance of shoulder braces whenever possible.

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