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Robot-assisted vs. conventional laparoscopic rectopexy for rectal prolapse: a comparative study on costs and time.

PURPOSE: Laparoscopic rectopexy has become one of the most advocated treatments for full-thickness rectal prolapse, offering good functional results compared with open surgery and resulting in less postoperative pain and faster convalescence. However, laparoscopic rectopexy can be technically demanding. Once having mastered dexterity, with robotic assistance, laparoscopic rectopexy can be performed faster. Moreover, it shortens the learning curve in simple laparoscopic tasks. This may lead to faster and safer laparoscopic surgery. Robot-assisted rectopexy has been proven safe and feasible; however, until now, no study has been performed comparing costs and time consumption in conventional laparoscopic rectopexy vs. robot-assisted rectopexy.

METHODS: Our first 14 cases of robot-assisted laparoscopic rectopexy were reviewed and compared with 19 patients who underwent conventional laparoscopic rectopexy in the same period.

RESULTS: Robot-assisted laparoscopic rectopexy did not show more complications. However, the average operating time was 39 minutes longer, and costs were euro 557.29 (or: dollars 745.09) higher.

CONCLUSION: Robot-assisted laparoscopic rectopexy is a safe and feasible procedure but results in increased time and higher costs than conventional laparoscopy.

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