Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 30, Issue 12, pp 5601–5614 | Cite as

Robot-assisted versus laparoscopic-assisted surgery for colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis

  • Xuan Zhang
  • ZhengQiang WeiEmail author
  • MengJun Bie
  • XuDong Peng
  • Cheng Chen
Endoluminal Surgery


Background and objectives

Robotic surgery is positioned at the cutting edge of minimally invasive management of colorectal cancer. We performed a meta-analysis of data from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non-RCTs (NRCTs) that compared the clinicopathological outcomes of robotic-assisted colorectal surgery (RACS) with those of laparoscopic-assisted colorectal surgery (LACS). Inferences on the feasibility and the relative safety and efficacy have been drawn.


A literature search for relevant studies was performed on MEDLINE, Ovid, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science databases. Inter-group differences in the standardized mean differences and relative risk were assessed. Operation times, conversion rates to open surgery, estimated blood loss (EBL), early postoperative morbidity, and length of hospital stay (LHS) were compared. Oncologic outcomes assessed were number of lymph nodes harvested and lengths of proximal and distal resection margins.


Twenty-four studies (2 RCTs and 22 NRCTs [5 prospective plus 17 retrospective]) with a total of 3318 patients were included. Of these, 1466 (44.18 %) patients underwent RACS and 1852 (55.82 %) underwent LACS. Conversion rates, EBL and LHS were significantly lower, while the operation times and total costs were similar between RACS and LACS. Complication rates and oncological accuracy of resection showed no significant difference.


Based on this meta-analysis, RACS appears to be a promising surgical approach with its safety and efficacy comparable to that of LACS in patients undergoing colorectal surgery. Further studies are required to evaluate the long-term cost-efficiency as well as the functional and oncologic outcomes of RACS.


Robotic surgery Laparoscopic surgery Colorectal surgery Colorectal cancer Meta-analysis 



This study was completed with several author contributions: X.Z., Z.Q.W., and M.J.B. conceived and designed the study. X.Z. and X.D.P. researched literature and extracted the data. X.Z., X.D.P., and C.C. participated in analysis, manuscript drafting, and editing. X.Z. and Z.Q.W. revised the study. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards


All the authors (X.Z., Z.Q.W., M.J.B., X.D.P., and C.C.) have declared that no conflicts of interest or financial ties exist in this meta-analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xuan Zhang
    • 1
  • ZhengQiang Wei
    • 1
    Email author
  • MengJun Bie
    • 2
  • XuDong Peng
    • 1
  • Cheng Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gastrointestinal SurgeryThe First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical UniversityChongqingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Cardiothoracic SurgeryThe First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical UniversityChongqingPeople’s Republic of China

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