The DROP-IN gamma probe was introduced to overcome the restricted manoeuvrability of traditional laparoscopic gamma probes. Through enhanced manoeuvrability and surgical autonomy, the DROP-IN promotes the implementation of radioguided surgery in the robotic setting.
Radioguided robot-assisted surgery with the novel DROP-IN gamma probe is feasible and safe. It enables more efficient intraoperative identification of sentinel lymph nodes than can be achieved with a traditional laparoscopic gamma probe. The use of the DROP-IN probe in combination with fluorescence imaging allows for a complementary optical confirmation of node localisations.
To confirm the utility and safety profile of the DROP-IN gamma probe and to perform a comparison with the traditional laparoscopic gamma probe and fluorescence guidance.
Owing to improved manoeuvrability, the DROP-IN probe yielded improved SN detection rates compared with the traditional gamma probe and fluorescence imaging. These findings underline that the DROP-IN technology provides a valuable tool for radioguided surgery in the robotic setting.
Intraoperative SN detection was assessed for the different modalities and related to anatomical locations. Patient follow-up was included (a median of 18 mo).
Overall, 47 SNs were pursued in vivo by the DROP-IN gamma probe, of which 100% were identified. No adverse events related to its use were observed. In vivo fluorescence imaging identified 91% of these SNs. The laparoscopic gamma probe identified only 76% of these SNs, where the detection inaccuracies appeared to be related to specific anatomical regions.
After intraprostatic injection of indocyanine green (ICG)-99mTc-nanocolloid (n = 12) or 99mTc-nanocolloid + ICG (n = 13), SN locations were defined using preoperative imaging. Surgical excision of SNs was performed under image guidance using the DROP-IN gamma probe, the traditional laparoscopic gamma probe, and fluorescence imaging.
Twenty-five prostate cancer patients were scheduled for a robot-assisted sentinel lymph node (SN) procedure, extended pelvic lymph node dissection, and prostatectomy at a single European centre.