European Association of Endoscopic Surgeons (EAES) consensus statement on the use of robotics in general surgery

Surg Endosc. 2015 Feb;29(2):253-88. doi: 10.1007/s00464-014-3916-9. Epub 2014 Nov 8.


Following an extensive literature search and a consensus conference with subject matter experts the following conclusions can be drawn: 1. Robotic surgery is still at its infancy, and there is a great potential in sophisticated electromechanical systems to perform complex surgical tasks when these systems evolve. 2. To date, in the vast majority of clinical settings, there is little or no advantage in using robotic systems in general surgery in terms of clinical outcome. Dedicated parameters should be addressed, and high quality research should focus on quality of care instead of routine parameters, where a clear advantage is not to be expected. 3. Preliminary data demonstrates that robotic system have a clinical benefit in performing complex procedures in confined spaces, especially in those that are located in unfavorable anatomical locations. 4. There is a severe lack of high quality data on robotic surgery, and there is a great need for rigorously controlled, unbiased clinical trials. These trials should be urged to address the cost-effectiveness issues as well. 5. Specific areas of research should include complex hepatobiliary surgery, surgery for gastric and esophageal cancer, revisional surgery in bariatric and upper GI surgery, surgery for large adrenal masses, and rectal surgery. All these fields show some potential for a true benefit of using current robotic systems. 6. Robotic surgery requires a specific set of skills, and needs to be trained using a dedicated, structured training program that addresses the specific knowledge, safety issues and skills essential to perform this type of surgery safely and with good outcomes. It is the responsibility of the corresponding professional organizations, not the industry, to define the training and credentialing of robotic basic skills and specific procedures. 7. Due to the special economic environment in which robotic surgery is currently employed special care should be taken in the decision making process when deciding on the purchase, use and training of robotic systems in general surgery. 8. Professional organizations in the sub-specialties of general surgery should review these statements and issue detailed, specialty-specific guidelines on the use of specific robotic surgery procedures in addition to outlining the advanced robotic surgery training required to safely perform such procedures.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference

MeSH terms

  • Cholecystectomy / methods
  • Conversion to Open Surgery / statistics & numerical data
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Endoscopy / economics
  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Europe
  • Hepatectomy / methods
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / methods
  • Pancreatectomy / methods
  • Robotics* / economics
  • Robotics* / methods
  • Societies, Medical