, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 1521-1525
Date: 01 Aug 2006

Robotic-assisted laparoscopic low anterior resection with total mesorectal excision for rectal cancer

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Abstract

Background

With advanced stereoscopic vision, lack of tremor, and the ability to rotate the instruments surgeons find that robotic systems are ideal laparoscopic tools. Because of its high operating cost, however, robotic surgery should be reserved to procedures in which the technology can be of maximum benefit, usually when precise dissections in confined spaces are required. Because conventional laparoscopic total mesorectal excision is a challenging procedure, we have sought to assess the utility of the DaVinci robotic system in laparoscopic low anterior resections for cancer of the rectum.

Methods

Between November 2004 and May 2005 robotic-assisted low anterior resection with total mesorectal excision was performed on six consecutive patients with rectal cancer. These cases were compared with six consecutive low anterior resections performed with conventional laparoscopic techniques by the same surgeon.

Results

There were no conversions in either group. Operative and pathological data, complications, and hospital stay were similar in the two groups. Robotic operations appeared to cause less strain for the surgeon.

Conclusions

Robotic-assisted laparoscopic low anterior resection for rectal cancer is feasible in experienced hands. This technique may facilitate minimally invasive radical rectal surgery.

Presented, in part, at the 14th International Congress of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, September 14–17, 2005 San Diego, California.