International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 161–173 | Cite as

Laparoscopic versus robotic-assisted colectomy and rectal resection: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Laura LorenzonEmail author
  • Fabiano Bini
  • Genoveffa Balducci
  • Mario Ferri
  • Pier Federico Salvi
  • Franco Marinozzi



Lately, the main technical innovations in the field of colorectal surgery have been the introduction of laparoscopic and robotic techniques; the aim of this study is to investigate the results and the advantages of these two surgical approaches.


Twenty-two studies including 1652 laparoscopic and 1120 robotic-assisted resections were analyzed and categorized into right, left, and pelvic resections of the middle/low rectum, aiming to the following outcomes: operating time, blood loss, bowel function recovery, return to oral intake, morbidity, hospital stay, and costs.


The vast majority of the studies were non-randomized investigations (19/22 studies) enrolling small cohorts of patients (median 55.0 laparoscopic and 34.5 robotic-assisted group) with a mean age of 62.2–61.0 years. Funnel plot analysis documented heterogeneity in studies which combined cancers and benign diseases.

Our meta-analysis demonstrated a significant difference in favor of laparoscopic procedures regarding costs and operating time (standardized mean difference (SMD) 0.686 and 0.493) and in favor of robotic surgery concerning morbidity rate (odds ratio (OR) 0.763), although no benefits were documented when analyzing exclusively randomized trials. When we differentiated approaches by side of resections, a significant difference was found in favor of the laparoscopic group when analyzing operating time in left-sided and pelvic procedures (SMD 0.609 and 0.529) and blood loss in pelvic resections (SMD 0.339).


Laparoscopic techniques were documented as the shorter procedures, which provided lower blood loss in pelvic resections, while morbidity rate was more favorable in robotic surgery. However, these results could not be confirmed when we focused the analysis on randomized trials only.


Colorectal cancer Laparoscopy Robotic surgery Meta-analysis 



The authors thank Mr. Michael Gerald Kenyon for his help in editing the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

None of the authors has any potential financial conflict of interest related to this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Lorenzon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fabiano Bini
    • 2
  • Genoveffa Balducci
    • 1
  • Mario Ferri
    • 1
  • Pier Federico Salvi
    • 1
  • Franco Marinozzi
    • 2
  1. 1.Surgical and Medical Department of Traslational Medicine, Sant’Andrea Hospital, Faculty of Medicine and Psychology“Sapienza” University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering“Sapienza” University of RomeRomeItaly

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