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Robot-assisted total gastrectomy is comparable with laparoscopically assisted total gastrectomy for early gastric cancer

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Laparoscopically assisted total gastrectomy (LATG) is technically difficult. Robot surgery has theoretical advantages such as increased degrees of freedom of instruments and a three-dimensional view. The current study aimed to determine whether a robot-assisted total gastrectomy (RATG) has a real benefit over LATG in terms of surgical and oncologic outcomes.


A single-center case–control study was conducted. The study included 36 patients who underwent RATG and 65 patients who underwent LATG at the National Cancer Center in Korea between February 2009 and May 2011. No patients were excluded from the analysis within the study period. Clinicopathologic data, operative data, postoperative morbidity, and pathologic data were analyzed by Student’s t-tests and Chi-square tests, as indicated.


The mean age of the patients was 53.9 ± 11.7 years in the RATG group and 56.9 ± 12.3 years in the LATG group (P = 0.236). The mean BMI was 23.2 ± 2.5 kg/m2 in the RATG group and 23.6 ± 3.4 kg/m2 in the LATG group (P = 0.494). The mean postoperative hospital stay was 8.8 ± 3.3 days in the RATG group and 10.3 ± 10.8 days in the LATG group (P = 0.416). The mean operative time was 305.8 ± 115.8 min in the RATG group and 210.2 ± 57.7 min in the LATG group (P < 0.001). The mean number of dissected lymph nodes was 42.8 ± 12.7 in the RATG group and 39.4 ± 13.4 in the LATG group (P = 0.209). Postoperative complications were experienced by 6 patients (16.7%) in the RATG group and 10 patients (15.4%) in the LATG group (P = 0.866).


Despite early experiences, RATG was shown to be comparable with LATG in terms of surgical and oncologic outcomes. However, no apparent benefit is associated with RATG to date.

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This work was supported by a grant (NCC 0310060-1,2,3) from the National Cancer Center, Korea.


Hong Man Yoon, Young-Woo Kim, Jun Ho Lee, Keun Won Ryu, Bang Wool Eom, Ji Yeon Park, Il Ju Choi, Chan Gyoo Kim, Jong Yeul Lee, Soo Jeong Cho, and Ji Yoon Rho have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Correspondence to Young-Woo Kim.

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Yoon, H.M., Kim, YW., Lee, J.H. et al. Robot-assisted total gastrectomy is comparable with laparoscopically assisted total gastrectomy for early gastric cancer. Surg Endosc 26, 1377–1381 (2012).

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