Short- and Long-term Outcomes after Robotic and Laparoscopic Liver Resection for Malignancies: A Propensity Score-Matched Study
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A laparoscopic approach improves short-term outcomes and maintains long-term outcomes compared to an open approach. In turn, the recent development of robotic surgery raises the question whether it performs as well as laparoscopic surgery. The aim of this study was to compare the short- and long-term outcomes of laparoscopic liver resection (LLR) and robotic liver resection (RLR) for malignancies.
From 2011 to 2017, the study population included 111 patients in the LLR group and 61 in the RLR group. Short- and long-term outcomes were compared before and after propensity score matching (PSM).
Operative mortality rate was nil. The intraoperative blood transfusion rate was higher during RLR (15% vs. 2%, p = 0.0009). Major morbidity and hospital stay were not different between the two groups. The resection margin width (LLR 7 mm vs. RLR 10 mm, p = 0.13) and R1 resection rates (resection margin width < 1 mm; LLR 15% vs. RLR 11%, p = 0.49) were similar. After PSM (55 patients in each group), the blood transfusion, major morbidity, hospital stay and R1 resection were similar between the two groups. When considering the largest subset of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma including 114 patients (66%), the 3-year overall survival rate was 80% in the LLR group and 97% in the RLR group (p = 0.10) and remained similar after PSM (p = 0.27). The 3-year recurrence-free survival rate was 50% in the LLR group and 64% in the RLR group (p = 0.30) and remained similar after PSM (p = 0.26).
No differences were found in blood transfusion, incidence of positive resection margins and long-term outcomes between the two techniques. RLR does not compromise short-term and oncologic outcomes in patients with liver cancers.
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