Robotic transanal minimally invasive surgery for local excision of rectal neoplasms

Br J Surg. 2014 Apr;101(5):578-81. doi: 10.1002/bjs.9454.


Background: Robotic transanal minimally invasive surgery (TAMIS) may be an option for rectum-preserving excision of neoplasms. Recent cadaveric studies showed improved vision, control and manoeuvrability compared with use of laparoscopic instruments. This study reports the clinical application.

Methods: Consecutive patients eligible for transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) or TAMIS in three participating centres were operated on using a robotic platform and transanal glove port. Patient demographics, lesion characteristics, perioperative data, complications and follow-up of all patients were recorded prospectively.

Results: Sixteen patients underwent robotic TAMIS for rectal lesions with a median (range) distance from the anal verge of 8 (range 3-10) cm. The median size of the resected specimen was 5·3 (0·5-21) cm(2) . The median docking time and duration of operation were 36 (18-75) and 108 (40-180) min respectively. One conversion to regular (non-robotic) TAMIS was needed owing to difficulties accessing the rectum. Glove puncture necessitated replacement in four procedures, an unstable pneumorectum arose during one operation and one patient developed a pneumoperitoneum. One patient required catheterization for urinary retention. The median hospital stay was 1·3 (0-4) days. The additional cost of the robotic approach was approximately €1000 per procedure (excluding the capital expenditure on the robotic system and its maintenance).

Conclusion: Robotic TAMIS is feasible in patients with rectal lesions. Potential advantages over TEM and non-robotic TAMIS will need to be balanced against the cost of the robotic system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proctoscopy / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rectal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Robotics / methods*