, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 1691-1692
Date: 19 Aug 2010

Advances and high demands in totally robotic surgery for rectal cancer

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Open low anterior resection for tumors located in the lower third of the rectum has three goals: precision of total mesorectal excision (TME), safe distal margins to prevent local recurrence after a sphincter-preserving procedure, and high ligation of the inferior mesenteric artery with splenic flexure mobilization. Can these surgical aims be achieved with a minimally invasive approach such as laparoscopic or robotic surgery? Park et al. [1] highlight this question in their report on robotic surgery for rectal cancer in the March issue of Surgical Endoscopy.

The standard of care for patients with resectable rectal cancer includes TME. This surgical strategy can improve both oncologic and quality-of-life (QOL) outcomes for patients with rectal cancer. Sphincter-preserving surgery, if feasible from an oncologic point of view, is crucial for the patient’s QOL. Therefore, low anterior resection (LAR) currently is thought to be the optimal surgical treatment if local recurrence can be ensure