, Volume 24, Issue 7, pp 1646-1657
Date: 09 Jan 2010

Robot-assisted laparoscopic pancreatic surgery: single-surgeon experience

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Abstract

Background

Use of robotic surgery has gained increasing acceptance over the last few years. There are few reports, however, on advanced pancreatic robotic surgery. In fact, the indication for robotic surgery in pancreatic disease has been controversial. This paper retrospectively reviews one surgeon’s experience with robotic surgery to treat pancreatic disease, and analyzes its indications and outcomes, as well as the controversy that exists.

Methods

A retrospective review of the charts of all patients who underwent robotic surgery for pancreatic disease by a single surgeon at two different institutions was carried out.

Results

From October 2000 to January 2009, 134 patients underwent robotic-assisted surgery for different pancreatic pathologies. All procedures were performed using the da Vinci robotic system. Of the 134 patients, 83 were female. The average age of all patients was 57 years (range 24–86 years). Mean operating room (OR) time was 331 min (75–660 min). There were 14 conversions to open surgery. Mean length of stay was 9.3 days (3–85 days). Length of stay for patients with no complications was 7.9 days (3–15 days). The postoperative morbidity rate was 26% and the mortality rate was 2.23% (three patients). Among the procedures performed were 60 pancreaticoduodenectomies, 23 spleen-preserving distal pancreatectomies, 23 splenopancreatectomies, 3 middle pancreatectomies, 1 total pancreatectomy, and 3 enucleations. Another 21 patients underwent different surgical procedures for treatment of acute and chronic pancreatitis. Two cases of pancreaticoduodenectomy were performed in outside institutions and are not included in this series.

Conclusions

This is the largest series of robotic pancreatic surgery presented to date. Robotic surgery enables difficult technical maneuvers to be performed that facilitate the success of pancreatic minimally invasive surgery. The results in this series demonstrate that it is feasible and safe. Complication and mortality rates are comparable to those of open surgery but with the advantages of minimally invasive surgery.