International Journal of Clinical Oncology

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 633–640 | Cite as

Recent advances in robotic surgery for rectal cancer

  • Soichiro Ishihara
  • Kensuke Otani
  • Koji Yasuda
  • Takeshi Nishikawa
  • Junichiro Tanaka
  • Toshiaki Tanaka
  • Tomomichi Kiyomatsu
  • Keisuke Hata
  • Kazushige Kawai
  • Hiroaki Nozawa
  • Shinsuke Kazama
  • Hironori Yamaguchi
  • Eiji Sunami
  • Joji Kitayama
  • Toshiaki WatanabeEmail author
Review Article


Robotic technology, which has recently been introduced to the field of surgery, is expected to be useful, particularly in treating rectal cancer where precise manipulation is necessary in the confined pelvic cavity. Robotic surgery overcomes the technical drawbacks inherent to laparoscopic surgery for rectal cancer through the use of multi-articulated flexible tools, three-dimensional stable camera platforms, tremor filtering and motion scaling functions, and greater ergonomic and intuitive device manipulation. Assessments of the feasibility and safety of robotic surgery for rectal cancer have reported similar operation times, blood loss during surgery, rates of postoperative morbidity, and circumferential resection margin involvement when compared with laparoscopic surgery. Furthermore, rates of conversion to open surgery are reportedly lower with increased urinary and male sexual functions in the early postoperative period compared with laparoscopic surgery, demonstrating the technical advantages of robotic surgery for rectal cancer. However, long-term outcomes and the cost-effectiveness of robotic surgery for rectal cancer have not been fully evaluated yet; therefore, large-scale clinical studies are required to evaluate the efficacy of this new technology.


Rectal cancer Robotic surgery Laparoscopic surgery 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Japan Society of Clinical Oncology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Soichiro Ishihara
    • 1
  • Kensuke Otani
    • 1
  • Koji Yasuda
    • 1
  • Takeshi Nishikawa
    • 1
  • Junichiro Tanaka
    • 1
  • Toshiaki Tanaka
    • 1
  • Tomomichi Kiyomatsu
    • 1
  • Keisuke Hata
    • 1
  • Kazushige Kawai
    • 1
  • Hiroaki Nozawa
    • 1
  • Shinsuke Kazama
    • 1
  • Hironori Yamaguchi
    • 1
  • Eiji Sunami
    • 1
  • Joji Kitayama
    • 1
  • Toshiaki Watanabe
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Surgical OncologyThe University of Tokyo HospitalHongoJapan

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