What have we gained by performing robotic rectal resection? Evaluation of 64 consecutive patients who underwent laparoscopic or robotic low anterior resection for rectal adenocarcinoma

Ilknur Erguner, Erman Aytac, Deniz Eren Boler, Banu Atalar, Bilgi Baca, Tayfun Karahasanoglu, Ismail Hamzaoglu, Cihan Uras
Surgical Laparoscopy, Endoscopy & Percutaneous Techniques 2013, 23 (3): 316-9

BACKGROUND: Robotic surgery is thought to be a solution to overcome the limitations of laparoscopy in sphincter-saving resections. In this study, we present our results on patients undergoing robotic and laparoscopic low anterior resection (LAR) consecutively for rectal adenocarcinoma.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between February 2008 and June 2011, consecutive patients who underwent laparoscopic or robotic LAR by a single surgical team for rectal cancer were evaluated. The patients' demographic, operative, postoperative short-term follow-up, and histopathologic data were analyzed.

RESULTS: Twenty-seven patients underwent robotic LAR, whereas 37 patients underwent laparoscopic LAR. The operation time of the laparoscopy group was significantly shorter than that of the robotic group (P=0.02). The complete total mesorectal excision rate was significantly higher in the robotic group (P=0.02). The overall complication rates were 11.11% and 21.62% in the robotic and laparoscopy groups, respectively (P=0.45).

CONCLUSIONS: Good quality of resected specimens could be achieved with robotic LAR. Further prospective studies including long-term oncologic outcomes and costs with higher patient number are definitely needed to assess the benefits of robotic resection in rectal cancer treatment.

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