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University of Florida urologists have used robot-assisted surgery to cut about 20 minutes off the average surgery time for conventional vasectomy reversal using a microscope.

"For a couple that's trying to get pregnant, this is a big deal," said Dr. Sijo Parekattil, director of male infertility and microsurgery at the University of Florida, who led the study. Parekattil believes the time reduction happens because the robot allows for more efficient use of instruments with the use of multiple arms and tools simultaneously.

In the one-year study concluded in mid-2009, 20 men had the robotic procedure and seven had the microscopic one. Two months after surgery, average sperm count in the robotic surgery group was 54 million, compared with 11 million in the microscopic surgery group.

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