JOURNAL ARTICLE

Reverse-hybrid robotic mesorectal excision for rectal cancer

In Ja Park, Y Nancy You, Erika Schlette, Sa Nguyen, John M Skibber, Miguel A Rodriguez-Bigas, George J Chang
Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 2012, 55 (2): 228-33
22228169

PURPOSE: The robotic system offers potential technical advantages over laparoscopy for total mesorectal excision with radical lymphadenectomy for rectal cancer. However, the requirement for fixed docking limits its utility when the working volume is large or patient repositioning is required. The purpose of this study was to evaluate short-term outcomes associated with a novel setup to perform total mesorectal excision and radical lymphadenectomy for rectal cancer by the use of a "reverse" hybrid robotic-laparoscopic approach.

METHODS: This is a prospective consecutive cohort observational study of patients who underwent robotic rectal cancer resection from January 2009 to March 2011. During the study period, a technique of reverse-hybrid robotic-laparoscopic rectal resection with radical lymphadenectomy was developed. This technique involves reversal of the operative sequence with lymphovascular and rectal dissection to precede proximal colonic mobilization. This technique evolved from a conventional-hybrid resection with laparoscopic vascular control, colonic mobilization, and robotic pelvic dissection. Perioperative and short-term oncologic outcomes were analyzed.

RESULTS: Thirty patients underwent reverse-hybrid resection. Median tumor location was 5 cm (interquartile range 3-9) from the anal verge. Median BMI was 27.6 (interquartile range 25.0-32.1 kg/m). Twenty (66.7%) received neoadjuvant chemoradiation. There were no conversions. Median blood loss was 100 mL (interquartile range 75-200). Total operation time was a median 369 (interquartile range 306-410) minutes. Median docking time was 6 (interquartile range 5-8) minutes, and console time was 98 (interquartile range 88-140) minutes. Resection was R0 in all patients; no patients had an incomplete mesorectal resection. Six patients (20%) underwent extended lymph node dissection or en bloc resection.

CONCLUSIONS: Reverse-hybrid robotic surgery for rectal cancer maximizes the therapeutic applicability of the robotic and conventional laparoscopic techniques for optimized application in minimally invasive rectal surgery.

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