Clinical and oncologic outcomes of totally robotic total mesorectal excision for rectal cancer: initial results in a center for minimally invasive surgery
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A robotic system was mainly designed to allow precise dissection in deep and narrow spaces. We report the clinical and oncologic outcomes of totally robotic total mesorectal excision for rectal cancer.
Between July 2009 and January 2012, 60 consecutive patients undergoing robotic surgery for rectal cancer at the Eulji University Hospital were included.
The mean total operation time, docking time, and surgeon console time were 466.8 ± 115.6, 7.5 ± 6.7, and 261 ± 87.5 min, respectively. Oral intake of diet was started at 3.3 ± 0.9 days and the mean hospital stay was 8.6 ± 2.4 days. All 60 procedures were technically successful without the need for conversion to open or laparoscopic surgery. Complications included anastomotic leakage, anastomotic stricture, postoperative bleeding, ileus, and perineal wound infection in 3 (5 %), 1 (1.7 %), 2 (3.3 %), 2 (3.3 %), and 1 (1.7 %) patient, respectively. The mean distal resection margin and total number of lymph nodes harvested was 3.1 ± 1.7 cm and 20.1 ± 11.5, respectively. During the mean follow-up period of 48.5 months (range, 7–75), the 4-year overall and disease-free survival rates were 87.7 and 72.8 %, respectively.
A totally robotic approach for rectal cancer operations was a time-consuming procedure, although we already had a lot experience in laparoscopic colorectal surgery. However, the dexterity of the robotic surgery could enable the surgeon to expand the choice of surgical methods according to the condition of the rectal cancer without the need for conversion.
KeywordsRobotic surgical procedures Rectal neoplasms Laparoscopy Outcome assessment
The authors thank Prof. Seon-Han Kim (Department of Surgery, Korea University Anam Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine) for mentoring of the first robotic surgery, Prof. Jin Cheon Kim (Department of Surgery, University of Ulsan College of Medicine and Asan Medical Center) for teaching about surgical principles and methods for rectal cancer, Seung Yun Lee, M.D., (Eulji University Hospital) for outstanding video narration, and Jin Yeon Kim (Emily Carr University of Art + Design) for drawing the figures.
Compliance with ethical standard
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.
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