A Combined One-Staged Robot-Assisted Sacral Chordoma Resection

World Neurosurg. 2020 Sep;141:210-214. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2020.06.056. Epub 2020 Jun 15.


Background: The robotic surgery is an advanced modern minimally invasive technology, widely used in urologic oncology, and it has become useful in particular conditions. Over time, different surgical specialties made use of the robotic properties to minimize complications for high-risk procedures. A combined 1-staged robot-assisted multidisciplinary surgery with intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring can be a safe procedure to remove a sacral chordoma with low morbidity rates.

Case description: A 64-year-old woman complained of a few months of drug-resistant low back and abdominal pain. The subsequent development of constipation brought the patient to undergo an abdominal computed tomography scan and magnetic resonance imaging. Radiologic investigations revealed a large size sacral mass associated with a partial destruction of the sacrum and posterior compression of the rectum. The tumor was en bloc removed by a combined 1-staged anterior laparoscopic robot-assisted and posterior open lumbosacral approach with continue intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring of sacral and pudendal plexuses. The histological diagnosis was of chordoma. After surgery, the patient reported pain relief and the total recovery of bowel dysfunction with good 11-month follow-up outcome.

Conclusions: This combined technique represents a promising treatment option in selected cases. The robotic technology combined with the experience of highly qualified staff can improve the surgical result by minimizing complications. However, longer follow-up is necessary to confirm the long-term effects in terms of recurrence and survival.

Keywords: Anterior robotic sacrectomy; Chordoma; Combined approach; Robot-assisted surgery; Sacrum.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Bone Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Chordoma / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring / methods
  • Laparoscopy / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Sacrum / pathology*
  • Sacrum / surgery*