Evaluation Studies
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Computer-assisted robot-enhanced laparoscopic fundoplication in children.

BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Robotic surgery improves laparoscopic surgery through a more natural interface, tremor filtration, motion scaling, and additional degrees of freedom of the instruments. Here, the authors report that experience with robot-assisted fundoplication in children.

METHODS: The authors have performed 15 laparoscopic fundoplications with the Zeus Robotic Surgery System and retrospectively reviewed prospectively collected data on set-up time, operating time, and outcome.

RESULTS: All cases were completed successfully: one Heller myotomy with Dor fundoplication and 14 Nissen fundoplications. Patients ranged from 2 months to 18 years old (mean, 4.3 years) and from 3.4 kg to 37.7 kg (mean, 13.0 kg). There were no technical errors, equipment errors, or conversions. There were no complications in the first 30 days after surgery. The operating time declined from 323 minutes for the first case to 180 minutes for the last (mean, 195 minutes). The 14th case was the shortest at 123 minutes. Setting up the robotic surgery system took an average of 11 minutes. The surgeons perceived benefits of greater ease and confidence in suture placement and knot tying.

CONCLUSIONS: The authors have successfully used surgical robots for gastric fundoplication at a pediatric teaching hospital. Our experience with this operation has shown the additional dexterity that the robot provides and will pave the way to more complex procedures.

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