Perioperative outcomes of laparoscopic and robot-assisted major hepatectomies: an Italian multi-institutional comparative study
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Laparoscopic major hepatectomy (LMH), although safely feasible in experienced hands and in selected patients, is a formidable challenge because of the technical demands of controlling hemorrhage, sealing bile ducts, avoiding gas embolism, and maintaining oncologic surgical principles. The enhanced surgical dexterity offered by robotic assistance could improve feasibility and/or safety of minimally invasive major hepatectomy. The aim of this study was to compare perioperative outcomes of LMH and robotic-assisted major hepatectomy (RMH).
Pooled data from four Italian hepatobiliary centers were analyzed retrospectively. Demographic data, operative, and postoperative outcomes were collected from prospectively maintained databases and compared.
Between January 2009 and December 2012, 25 patients underwent LMH and 25 RMH. The two groups were comparable for all baseline characteristics including type of resection and underlying pathology. Conversion to open surgery was required in one patient in each group (4 %). No difference was noted in operative time, estimated blood, and need for allogenic blood transfusions. Intermittent pedicle occlusion was required only in LMH (32 % vs. 0; p = 0.004). Length of hospital stay, including time spent in intensive care unit, was similar between the two groups, but patients undergoing LMH showed quicker recovery of bowel activity, with shorter time to first flatus (1 vs. 3 days; p = 0.023) and earlier tolerance to oral liquid diet (1 vs. 2 days; p = 0.001). No difference was noted in complication rate, 90-day mortality, and readmission rate.
This retrospective multi-institution study confirms that selected patients can safely undergo minimally invasive major hepatectomy, either LMH or RMH. The fact that intermittent pedicle occlusion could be avoided in RMH suggests improved surgical ability to deal with bleeding during liver transection, but further studies are needed before any final conclusion can be drawn.
KeywordsLaparoscopic liver resection Robotic liver resection Minimally invasive liver surgery Major hepatectomies Robotic hepatectomy Laparoscopic hepatectomy
Marcello G Spampinato, Andrea Coratti, Luigi Bianco, Fabio Caniglia, Andrea Laurenzi, Giuseppe Maria Ettorre, and Ugo Boggi have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose. Dr. Francesco Puleo is currently granted by Fond Erasme, Brussels, Belgium.
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