Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 610–616 | Cite as

Robotic gastric bypass may lead to fewer complications compared with laparoscopy

  • Dimitrios Stefanidis
  • Savannah B. Bailey
  • Timothy Kuwada
  • Connie Simms
  • Keith Gersin



Robotic technology leads to improved visualization and precision over laparoscopy but also higher cost of care. The benefits of this technology to patient outcomes are controversial. Our objective was to assess whether the application of robotic surgery to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) would lead to improved patient outcomes.


A prospectively collected database at a bariatric center of excellence was reviewed for all RYGB procedures performed by one surgeon between 2007 and 2015. Procedures performed laparoscopically (transoral circular stapling technique) versus robotically (hand-sewn anastomosis) were compared; the transition in technique occurred in 2011. Patient demographics, baseline weight, BMI, operation duration, estimated blood loss (EBL), length of hospital stay (LOS), morbidity and mortality, and percent excess weight loss (%EWL) at 1-year follow-up were compared between groups. Morbidity up to 1-year postop was assessed using the Clavien–Dindo classification.


Of 246 patients, 125 underwent robotic and 121 laparoscopic RYGB. Patients in the robotic group were older and heavier but achieved similar  %EWL to the laparoscopic group. The operative duration was longer but the mean patient LOS was shorter with the robotic approach. There were no leaks and no mortality. Based on the Clavien–Dindo classification, fewer overall and fewer severe complications occurred in the robotic compared with the laparoscopic approach.


In our experience, the use of robotic technology for the creation of gastric bypass led to longer operative times, similar %EWL but decreased LOS and number and severity of complications compared with the laparoscopic approach. Since our findings may have been influenced by the type of anastomotic technique used with each approach they need confirmation by a controlled trial.


Roux-en-Y gastric bypass Bariatric surgery Robotic Complications Patient outcomes 


Compliance with ethical standards


Drs. Dimitrios Stefanidis and Timothy Kuwada, and Savannah B. Bailey and Connie Simms have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose. Dr Keith Gersin is paid consultant for GI Dynamics, WL Gore, and on the speaker’s bureau for Mallinckrodt.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.University of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryCarolinas Healthcare SystemCharlotteUSA

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