, Volume 17, Issue 10, pp 1521-1524
Date: 15 Aug 2003

A prospective analysis of 211 robotic-assisted surgical procedures

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Background: The Academic Robotics Group prospectively studied 211 robotically assisted operations to assess the safety and utility of robotically assisted surgery. Methods: All operations took place at one of four member institutions between June 2000 and June 2001 using the recently FDA-approved daVinci robotic system. A variety of procedures were undertaken, including antireflux surgery (69), cholecystectomy (36), Heller myotomy (26), bowel resection (17), donor nephrectomy (15), left internal mammery artery mobilization (14), gastric bypass (seven), splenectomy (seven), adrenalectomy (six), exploratory laparoscopy (three), pyloroplasty (four), gastrojejunostomy (two), distal pancreatectomy (one), duodenal polypectomy (one), esophagectomy (one), gastric mass resection (one), and lysis of adhesions (one). Results: Average operating room time was 188 min (range 45 to 387, SD = 83), surgical time 143 min (range 35 to 462, SD = 63), and robot time 90 min (range 12 to 235, SD = 47). Median length of stay was 1 day (range 0 to 37). There were 8 (4%) technical complications during procedures, five minor (four hook cautery dislodgement, one slipped robotic trocar) and three major (system malfunctions, two of which required conversion to standard laparoscopy). In all cases, technical problems caused only delay, without apparent altered outcome. There were medical/surgical complications in nine patients (4%). Six (3%) were considered major, including one death unrelated to the robotic procedure. Conclusions: The results of robotic-assisted surgery compare favorably with those of conventional laparoscopy with respect to mortality, complications, and length of stay. Robotic-assisted surgery is safe and effective and is a new reality for American surgery. The role of these devices in surgery will expand as the technology evolves.

All authors are members of the Academic Robotics Group. In listing The Academic Robotics Group, the authors are endeavoring to place each of the participant institutions on an equal footing in terms of effort and authorship. M. A. Talamini is serving as presenter.