US doctors are increasingly enlisting the help of robots when removing a problematic prostate, according to a new study.

The scientists looked at data from 489 369 men surgeries between 2003 to 2010. They found that those surgeons who performed at least 25 radical prostatectomies a year were more likely to enlist the help of robots when performing the surgery.

As the adoption of robot-assisted prostate removal surgery has become more widespread, the price of the robot assisted surgery (which is more expensive than the conventional method) has come down. However, because more doctors now use the more expensive robot assisted option, patients are generally paying more to have their prostates removed.

One of the studies leaders, Dr Steven Chang of Harvard Medical School, believes that the study is important because it gives experts an idea of how technological innovations are likely to be adopted by the medical community in the future.