Background: A robotic surgical approach provides advantages compared to laparoscopy in male patients with mid- and low-lying rectal cancer located in the narrow pelvic space. The aim of this report is to present a single-surgeon experience with robotic sphincter-saving total mesorectal excision of rectal cancer in male patients.
Methods: A series of 103 consecutive male patients who underwent robotic rectal surgery between January 2012 and June 2019 were analyzed retrospectively in terms of demographics, histopathological data, and surgical and oncological outcomes.
Results: All of the patients underwent robotic sphincter-saving resection: 76 (73.8%) underwent low-anterior resection and 27 (26.2%) underwent intersphincteric resection with colo-anal anastomosis. There was no conversion. The median distal resection margin of the operative specimen was 3 (0.2-7) cm. The circumferential resection margin was positive in 3 (2.91%) cases. The median number of retrieved lymph nodes was 22 (18-42). The median hospital stay was 4 (3-16) days. Whereas the overall morbidity was 13%, there was no in-hospital or 30-day mortality. The median length of follow-up was 48 (9-80) months. The 5-year overall survival rate was 87%. The 5-year disease-free survival rate was 84%. Local and distant recurrence rates were 3.8% and 5.82%, respectively.
Conclusions: In male patients with rectal cancer, a robotic approach is a promising alternative and is expected to overcome the low penetration rate of laparoscopy in this field.