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Comparison Between Robotic and Laparoscopic or Open Anastomoses: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

INTRODUCTION: Robotic surgery has been increasingly used in fashioning various surgical anastomoses. Our aim was to collect and analyze outcomes related to anastomoses performed using a robotic approach and compare them with those done using laparoscopic or open approaches through meta-analysis.

METHODS: A systematic review was conducted for articles comparing robotic with laparoscopic and/or open operations (colectomy, low anterior resection, gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), pancreaticoduodenectomy, radical cystectomy, pyeloplasty, radical prostatectomy, renal transplant) published up to June 2019 searching Medline, Scopus, Google Scholar, Clinical Trials and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Studies containing information about outcomes related to hand-sewn anastomoses were included for meta-analysis. Studies with stapled anastomoses or without relevant information about the anastomotic technique were excluded. We also excluded studies in which the anastomoses were performed extracorporeally in laparoscopic or robotic operations.

RESULTS: We included 83 studies referring to the aforementioned operations (4 randomized controlled and 79 non-randomized, 10 prospective and 69 retrospective) apart from colectomy and low anterior resection. Anastomoses done using robotic instruments provided similar results to those done using laparoscopic or open approach in regards to anastomotic leak or stricture. However, there were lower rates of stenosis in robotic than in laparoscopic RYGB (p=0.01) and in robotic than in open radical prostatectomy (p<0.00001). Moreover, all anastomoses needed more time to be performed using the robotic rather than the open approach in renal transplant (p≤0.001).

CONCLUSION: Robotic anastomoses provide equal outcomes with laparoscopic and open ones in most operations, with a few notable exceptions.

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