JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Robotic bariatric surgery: a systematic review

Matthew M Fourman, Alan A Saber
Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases 2012, 8 (4): 483-8
22579735

BACKGROUND: Obesity is a nationwide epidemic, and the only evidence-based, durable treatment of this disease is bariatric surgery. This field has evolved drastically during the past decade. One of the latest advances has been the increased use of robotics within this field. The goal of our study was to perform a systematic review of the recent data to determine the safety and efficacy of robotic bariatric surgery. The setting was the University Hospitals Case Medical Center (Cleveland, OH).

METHODS: A PubMed search was performed for robotic bariatric surgery from 2005 to 2011. The inclusion criteria were English language, original research, human, and bariatric surgical procedures. Perioperative data were then collected from each study and recorded.

RESULTS: A total of 18 studies were included in our review. The results of our systematic review showed that bariatric surgery, when performed with the use of robotics, had similar or lower complication rates compared with traditional laparoscopy. Two studies showed shorter operative times using the robot for Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, but 4 studies showed longer operative times in the robotic arm. In addition, the learning curve appears to be shorter when robotic gastric bypass is compared with the traditional laparoscopic approach. Most investigators agreed that robotic laparoscopic surgery provides superior imaging and freedom of movement compared with traditional laparoscopy.

CONCLUSION: The application of robotics appears to be a safe option within the realm of bariatric surgery. Prospective randomized trials comparing robotic and laparoscopic outcomes are needed to further define the role of robotics within the field of bariatric surgery. Longer follow-up times would also help elucidate any long-term outcomes differences with the use of robotics versus traditional laparoscopy.

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