Short-term postoperative outcomes following robotic versus laparoscopic ileal pouch-anal anastomosis are equivalent

  • A. L. LightnerEmail author
  • F. Grass
  • N. P. McKenna
  • M. Tilman
  • A. Alsughayer
  • S. R. Kelley
  • K. Behm
  • A. Merchea
  • D. W. Larson
Original Article



Minimally invasive approaches have become the standard of care for ileal pouch-anal anastomoses (IPAA). There are few reports comparing outcomes following a laparoscopic versus robotic approach. Our aim was to determine if there were any differences in the 30-day postoperative outcomes following IPAA performed laparoscopically versus robotically.


A retrospective chart review of all laparoscopic and robotic IPAA performed between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2018 was carried out. Patients included were adult patients who underwent a proctectomy and IPAA utilizing either a laparoscopic or robotic approach. Data collected included patient demographics, operative variables, and 30-day postoperative outcomes.


A total of 132 patients had a minimally invasive IPAA; 58 were performed laparoscopically and 74 robotically. Less than half the patients were female (n = 55; 41.7%) with a median age of 37 years (range 18–68 years). The majority of patients had a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis (n = 103; 78.0%) with medically refractory disease (n = 87; 65.9%). A greater proportion of patients in the laparoscopic cohort had a prolonged length of stay (n = 27; 46.6% versus n = 18; 24.3%; p < 0.001) and a two-stage approach (n = 56; 96.6% versus n = 37; 50%; p < 0.001), but there were no differences in the rates between the laparoscopic versus robotic cohorts of superficial surgical site infection (6.9% versus 6.8%; p = 0.99), peripouch abscess (15.5% versus 6.8%; p = 0.11), anastomotic leak (6.9% versus 2.7%; p = 0.21), pelvic abscess (15.5% versus 6.8%; p = 0.11), and pelvic sepsis (15.5% versus 6.8%; p = 0.11), readmission (24.1% versus 17.6%; p = 0.35) or reoperation (6.9% versus 5.4%; p = 0.72). On multivariable analysis, only male sex remained predictive of prolonged length of stay, and a robotic approach trended toward a decreased rate of prolonged length of stay.


Laparoscopic and robotic IPAA have equivalent postoperative morbidity underscoring the safety of the continued expansion of the robotic platform for pouch surgery.


Ileal pouch-anal anastomosis Proctocolectomy Restorative Minimally invasive surgery Robotic surgical procedures 


Author contributions

All authors meet the three authorship criteria: substantial contribution, participation in drafting the article, and final approval.


There are no sources of funding.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Amy Lightner receives consultant fees from Takeda; all other authors: declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All human studies have been reviewed by the appropriate ethics committee and have therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in an appropriate version of the 1965 Declaration of Helsinki.

Informed consent

For this type of study, informed consent was not necessary.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. L. Lightner
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • F. Grass
    • 1
  • N. P. McKenna
    • 1
  • M. Tilman
    • 1
  • A. Alsughayer
    • 1
  • S. R. Kelley
    • 1
  • K. Behm
    • 1
  • A. Merchea
    • 2
  • D. W. Larson
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Colon and Rectal SurgeryMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Division of Colon and Rectal SurgeryMayo ClinicJacksonvilleUSA
  3. 3.Colorectal SurgeryCleveland ClinicClevelandUSA

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