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Robotic tumor-specific mesorectal excison of rectal cancer: short-term outcome of a pilot randomized trial

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Laparoscopic colorectal resection has become popular. The recently developed da Vinci Surgical System promises to facilitate endoscopic surgery and overcome its disadvantages. This study therefore aimed to compare the short-term results between robotic tumor-specific mesorectal excision (R-TSME) using the da Vinci Surgical System and conventional laparoscopic tumor-specific mesorectal excision (L-TSME) in rectal cancer patients.


Between April 2006 and February 2007, 36 patients were randomly assigned to receive R-TSME or L-TSME. During the study, 18 patients underwent robotic low anterior resection using the da Vinci Surgical System, and 18 patients had conventional laparoscopic low anterior resection. Patient characteristics, perioperative clinical results, complications, and pathologic details were compared between the two groups.


The patient characteristics were not significantly different between the two groups. The mean operating time, hemoglobin change, and conversion rate were not significantly different between the groups. Complications were treated conservatively and did not require surgical intervention in the R-TSME group. The average length of stay was 6.9 ± 1.3 days in the R-TSME group and 8.7 ± 1.3 days in the L-TSME group (p < 0.001). The specimen quality of the R-TSME group was acceptable.


Tumor-specific mesorectal excision was performed safely and effectively using the da Vinci Surgical System and the perioperative outcomes were acceptable.

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This study was supported by a faculty research grant of the Yonsei University College of Medicine for 2006. (6-2006-0111).

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Correspondence to W. J. Lee.

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Baik, S.H., Ko, Y.T., Kang, C.M. et al. Robotic tumor-specific mesorectal excison of rectal cancer: short-term outcome of a pilot randomized trial. Surg Endosc 22, 1601–1608 (2008).

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