, Volume 22, Issue 12, pp 2743-2747
Date: 24 Sep 2008

Robot-assisted laparoscopy in gynecologic oncology

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The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the feasibility and the outcome of gynaecological cancer surgery with the Da Vinci S surgical system (Intuitive Surgical).


From February 2007 to September 2007, 28 patients underwent 32 gynaecological procedures in a single centre. Surgical procedures consisted of total hysterectomy, bilateral oophorectomy, and pelvic and/or lombo-aortic lymphadenectomy. In all cases, surgery was performed using both laparoscopic and robot-assisted laparoscopic techniques. In this heterogeneous series, a subgroup of 12 patients treated for advanced cervical cancer was compared with a retrospective series of 20 patients who underwent the same surgical procedure by laparotomy.


Mean age of the entire population was 52.5 years (range 25–72 years) and mean body mass index (BMI) was 25 kg/m2 (range 18–40 kg/m2). Indications for surgery were cervical cancer in 21 cases, endometrial cancer in 7 cases, ovarian cancer in 1 case and cervical dysplasia in 3 cases. Median operating time was 180 min (mean 175.25 min, range 80–360 min) and median estimated blood loss was 110 cc (range 0–400 cc); no transfusions were necessary. No perioperative complications were observed and median time of hospitalisation was 3 days (mean 3.9 days, range 2–8 days). In the subgroup of 12 advanced cervical cancer a significant difference was observed in terms of hospital stay compared with laparotomy; no difference was observed concerning operative time. Fewer complications were observed with laparotomy (33% versus 25%) but more serious complications than with robot-assisted laparoscopy.


As suggested in the literature, the use of robot-assisted laparoscopy leads to less intraoperative blood loss, less post operative pain and shorter hospital stays compared with those treated by more traditional surgical approaches. Despite the need for more extensive studies, robot-assisted surgery seems to represent a similar technological evolution as the laparoscopic approach 50 years ago.