[Robotics in the operating room : Out of the niche into widespread application]

J Kirchberg, T Mees, J Weitz
Der Chirurg; Zeitschrift Für Alle Gebiete der Operativen Medizen 2016, 87 (12): 1025-1032
In the last few years robotic surgery has progressed from being confined to a small niche to a widespread application in routine visceral surgery; however, evidence for superiority of robotic surgery compared to laparoscopy from randomized studies with a sufficient number of patients is still lacking in most fields of visceral surgery. For complex operations that necessitate an extensive reconstruction phase, such as pancreatectomy, gastrectomy and esophagectomy, there is a potential benefit for the permanent and justified use of robotic surgery. Even in operations where delicate nerve preparation and radical surgical resection are simultaneously necessary, such as rectal resection, robotic surgery may provide certain benefits. In the long term there is a great potential for the integration of innovative techniques, such as navigation or other medical imaging procedures into robotic surgery, which can currently only partially be estimated. Care must be taken to avoid premature euphoria; however, due to the assumed great potential there is an urgent need for randomized studies to evaluate the possible benefits of robotic surgical techniques in visceral surgery in order to generate evidence for the welfare of patients.

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