Robot-assisted parenchymal-sparing liver surgery including lesions located in the posterosuperior segments



The aim of the study is to describe techniques of robot-assisted parenchymal-sparing liver surgery.


Laparoscopy provides the same oncologic outcomes as open liver resection and better early outcome. Limitations of laparoscopy remain resections in posterior and superior liver segments, frequently approached with laparoscopic right hepatectomy, bleeding from the section line, and prolonged operative times when a combined procedure is needed.


We retrospectively analyzed our series of robot-assisted liver resections between 2008 and September 2010 to evaluate whether robot assistance can overcome the limitations of laparoscopy.


A total of 23 patients underwent robot-assisted liver resection for a total of 21 subsegmentectomies, 6 segmentectomies, 2 segmentectomies S6 + subsegmentectomies S7, 1 bisegmentectomy S2–3, and 2 pericystectomies. In ten cases (47.8%) liver nodules were located in the posterior and superior liver segments. In three cases the tumor was in contact with a main portal branch and in two cases with a hepatic vein. In one case the tumor had contact with both hepatic vein and portal branch. In the latter cases a no-margin resection was carried out. In 16 cases (65.5%) liver resection was associated with a concomitant procedure (10 laparoscopic colectomies, 1 robotic rectal resection, 3 laparoscopic radiofrequency ablations, and 2 extensive adhesiolyses). Mean operative time was 280 ± 101 min, blood loss was 245 ± 254 ml, and mean hospital stay was 8.9 ± 9.4 days. Mortality was nil. One case of biliary leakage and two of intraoperative hemorrhage requiring transfusion were the main complications encountered.


Robot assistance allows optimal access to all liver segments and facilitates parenchymal-sparing surgery also for lesions located in the posterosuperior segments or in contact with main liver vessels.

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The authors wish to thank the nursing staff of the Department of Surgery, Hospital San Matteo degli Infermi for their daily work.


Authors Luciano Casciola, Alberto Patriti, Graziano Ceccarelli, Alberto Bartoli, Cecilia Ceribelli, and Alessandro Spaziani have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Correspondence to Alberto Patriti.

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The first two authors are joint first authors.

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Casciola, L., Patriti, A., Ceccarelli, G. et al. Robot-assisted parenchymal-sparing liver surgery including lesions located in the posterosuperior segments. Surg Endosc 25, 3815–3824 (2011).

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  • Liver resection
  • Robot-assisted
  • Laparoscopic
  • Liver tumor
  • Liver metastasis
  • Hydatid disease