Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 862–875 | Cite as

A systematic review of robotic-assisted liver resection and meta-analysis of robotic versus laparoscopic hepatectomy for hepatic neoplasms

  • Jianguo Qiu
  • Shuting Chen
  • Du ChengyouEmail author



Robotic-assisted liver resection (RALR) was introduced as procedures of overcoming the limitations of traditional laparoscopic liver resection (LLR). The aim of this review was to evaluate the surgical results of RALR from all published studies and the results of comparative studies of RALR versus LLR for hepatic neoplasm.


Eligible studies involved RALR that published between January 2001 and December 2014 were reviewed systematically. Comparisons between RALS and LLR were pooled and analyzed by meta-analytical techniques using random- or fixed-effects models, as appropriate.


In total, 29 studies, involving 537 patients undergoing RALR, were identified. The most common RALR procedure was a wedge resection and segmentectomy (28.67 %), followed by right hepatectomy (17.88 %), left lateral sectionectomy (13.22 %), and bisegmentectomy (9.12 %). The conversion and complication rates were 5.59 and 11.36 %, respectively. The most common reasons for conversion were bleeding (46.67 %) and unclear tumor margin (33.33 %). Intracavitary fluid collections and bile leaks (40.98 %) were the most frequently occurring morbidities. Nine studies, involving 774 patients, were included in meta-analysis. RALR had a longer operative time compared with LLR [mean difference (MD) 48.49; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 22.49–74.49 min; p = 0.0003]. There were no significant differences between the two groups in blood loss [MD 31.53; 95 % CI −14.74 to 77.79 mL; p = 0.18], hospital stay [MD 0.13; 95 % CI −0.54 to 0.80 days; p = 0.18], postoperative overall morbidity [odds ratio (OR) 0.76; 95 % CI 0.49–1.19; p = 0.23], and surgical margin status (OR 0.61; 95 % CI 0.33–1.12; p = 0.11); cost was greater than robotic surgery (p = 0.001).


RALR and LLR display similar safety, feasibility, and effectiveness for hepatectomies, but further studies are needed before any final conclusion can be drawn, especially in terms of oncologic and cost-effectiveness outcomes.


Hepatic tumor Robotic Laparoscopy Systematic review Meta-analysis 



The authors thank the staffs and colleagues in the Chinese Cochrane Centre for their help and support.

Conflict of interest

The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Hepatobiliary SurgeryThe First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.Department of Hepatobiliary Pancreatic Surgery, West China HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduChina

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