COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Comparative effectiveness of robotic-assisted vs thoracoscopic lobectomy

Subroto Paul, Jessica Jalbert, Abby J Isaacs, Nasser K Altorki, O Wayne Isom, Art Sedrakyan
Chest 2014, 146 (6): 1505-1512
24810546

BACKGROUND: Robotic-assisted lobectomy is being offered increasingly to patients. However, little is known about its safety, complication profile, or effectiveness.

METHODS: Patients undergoing lobectomy in in the United States from 2008 to 2011 were identified in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. In-hospital mortality, complications, length of stay, and cost for patients undergoing robotic-assisted lobectomy were compared with those for patients undergoing thoracoscopic lobectomy.

RESULTS: We identified 2,498 robotic-assisted and 37,595 thoracoscopic lobectomies performed from 2008 to 2011. The unadjusted rate for any complication was higher for those undergoing robotic-assisted lobectomy than for those undergoing thoracoscopic lobectomy (50.1% vs 45.2%, P < .05). Specific complications that were higher included cardiovascular complications (23.3% vs 20.0%, P < .05) and iatrogenic bleeding complications (5.0% vs 2.0%, P < .05). The higher risk of iatrogenic bleeding complications persisted in multivariable analyses (adjusted OR, 2.64; 95% CI, 1.58-4.43). Robotic-assisted lobectomy costs significantly more than thoracoscopic lobectomy ($22,582 vs $17,874, P < .05).

CONCLUSIONS: In this early experience with robotic surgery, robotic-assisted lobectomy was associated with a higher rate of intraoperative injury and bleeding than was thoracoscopic lobectomy, at a significantly higher cost.

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