Perioperative outcomes of robot-assisted vs video-assisted and traditional open thoracic surgery for lung cancer: A systematic review and network meta-analysis

Int J Med Robot. 2020 Oct;16(5):1-14. doi: 10.1002/rcs.2123. Epub 2020 Jun 22.


Background: The superiority of robot-assisted thoracic surgery (RATS) over video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and thoracotomy remains controversial for lung cancer.

Methods: A network meta-analysis (NMA) and pairwise meta-analysis (PMA) were performed to evaluate the perioperative outcomes using five databases.

Results: Thirty-two studies involving 6593 patients were included for analysis. The NMA showed that RATS had similar operative time, conversion rate to thoracotomy, number of lymph node, postoperative morbidity, and length of hospital stay with VATS, except for lower 30-day mortality. Compared with thoracotomy, longer operative time and shorter hospital stay were observed in RATS, but no significant difference was observed in number of lymph node, postoperative morbidity, and 30-day mortality in both NMA and PMA. In lobectomy/segmentectomy subgroup, all outcomes, except for operative time of RATS vs VATS and number of lymph node, were similar with overall analyses.

Conclusions: RATS had comparable perioperative outcomes with VATS and open surgery.

Keywords: lung cancer; meta-analysis; robotic surgery; thoracoscopic surgery; thoracotomy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Lung Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Network Meta-Analysis
  • Pneumonectomy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Robotics*
  • Thoracic Surgery*
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted