, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 1480-1487
Date: 17 Mar 2009

Robotic Versus Laparoscopic Low Anterior Resection of Rectal Cancer: Short-Term Outcome of a Prospective Comparative Study

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The aim of this study is to compare the short-term results between robotic-assisted low anterior resection (R-LAR), using the da Vinci® Surgical System, and standard laparoscopic low anterior resection (L-LAR) in rectal cancer patients.


113 patients were assigned to receive either R-LAR (n = 56) or L-LAR (n = 57) between April 2006 and September 2007. Patient characteristics, perioperative clinical results, complications, and pathologic details were compared between the groups. Moreover, macroscopic grading of the specimen was evaluated.


Patient characteristics were not significantly different between the groups. The mean operation time was 190.1 ± 45.0 min in the R-LAR group and 191.1 ± 65.3 min in the L-LAR group (P = 0.924). The conversion rate was 0.0% in the R-LAR groups and 10.5% in the L-LAR group (P = 0.013). The serious complication rate was 5.4% in the R-LAR group and 19.3% in the L-LAR group (P = 0.025). The specimen quality was acceptable in both groups. However, the mesorectal grade was complete (n = 52) and nearly complete (n = 4) in the R-LAR group and complete (n = 43), nearly complete (n = 12), and incomplete (n = 2) in the L-LAR group (P = 0.033).


R-LAR was performed safely and effectively, using the da Vinci® Surgical System. The use of the system resulted in acceptable perioperative outcomes compared to L-LAR.