Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 29, Issue 7, pp 1679–1685 | Cite as

Learning curve for robotic-assisted surgery for rectal cancer: use of the cumulative sum method

  • Tomohiro YamaguchiEmail author
  • Yusuke Kinugasa
  • Akio Shiomi
  • Sumito Sato
  • Yushi Yamakawa
  • Hiroyasu Kagawa
  • Hiroyuki Tomioka
  • Keita Mori



Few data are available to assess the learning curve for robotic-assisted surgery for rectal cancer. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the learning curve for robotic-assisted surgery for rectal cancer by a surgeon at a single institute.


From December 2011 to August 2013, a total of 80 consecutive patients who underwent robotic-assisted surgery for rectal cancer performed by the same surgeon were included in this study. The learning curve was analyzed using the cumulative sum method. This method was used for all 80 cases, taking into account operative time.


Operative procedures included anterior resections in 6 patients, low anterior resections in 46 patients, intersphincteric resections in 22 patients, and abdominoperineal resections in 6 patients. Lateral lymph node dissection was performed in 28 patients. Median operative time was 280 min (range 135–683 min), and median blood loss was 17 mL (range 0–690 mL). No postoperative complications of Clavien–Dindo classification Grade III or IV were encountered. We arranged operative times and calculated cumulative sum values, allowing differentiation of three phases: phase I, Cases 1–25; phase II, Cases 26–50; and phase III, Cases 51–80.


Our data suggested three phases of the learning curve in robotic-assisted surgery for rectal cancer. The first 25 cases formed the learning phase.


Rectal cancer Robotic-assisted surgery Learning curve CUSUM method Total mesorectal excision Lateral lymph node dissection 



We wish to thank Dr. Keita Mori for his statistical help and writing assistance.


Tomohiro Yamaguchi, Yusuke Kinugasa, Akio Shiomi, Sumito Sato, Yushi Yamakawa, Hiroyasu Kagawa, Hiroyuki Tomioka, and Keita Mori have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomohiro Yamaguchi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yusuke Kinugasa
    • 1
  • Akio Shiomi
    • 1
  • Sumito Sato
    • 1
  • Yushi Yamakawa
    • 1
  • Hiroyasu Kagawa
    • 1
  • Hiroyuki Tomioka
    • 1
  • Keita Mori
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Colon and Rectal SurgeryShizuoka Cancer Center HospitalShizuokaJapan
  2. 2.Clinical Trial Coordination OfficeShizuoka Cancer Center HospitalShizuokaJapan

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