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, 14 (11), 3168-73

Short-term Outcomes After Robotic-Assisted Total Mesorectal Excision for Rectal Cancer


Short-term Outcomes After Robotic-Assisted Total Mesorectal Excision for Rectal Cancer

Minia Hellan et al. Ann Surg Oncol.


Background: Laparoscopic total mesorectal excision for rectal cancer remains a difficult procedure with high conversion rates. We have sought to improve on some of the pitfalls of laparoscopy by using the DaVinci robotic system. Here we report our two-year experience with robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery for primary rectal cancer.

Methods: A prospectively maintained database of all rectal cancer cases starting in November 2004 was created. A series of 39 consecutive unselected patients with primary rectal cancer was analyzed. Clinical and pathologic outcomes were reviewed retrospectively.

Results: 22 patients had low anterior, 11 intersphincteric and six abdominoperineal resections. Postoperative mortality and morbidity were % and 12.8%, respectively. The median operative time was 285 minutes (range 180-540 mins). The conversion rate was 2.6%. A total mesorectal excision with negative circumferential and distal margins was accomplished in all patients, and a median of 13 (range 7-28) lymph nodes was removed. The anastomotic leak rate was 12.1%. The median hospital stay was 4 days. There have been no local recurrences at a median follow-up of 13 months.

Conclusions: Robotic-assisted surgery for rectal cancer can be carried out safely and according to oncological principles. This approach shows promising short-term outcomes and may facilitate the adoption of minimally invasive rectal surgery.

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