Indocyanine green (ICG) fluorescence in robotic hepatobiliary surgery: A systematic review

Int J Med Robot. 2023 Feb;19(1):e2485. doi: 10.1002/rcs.2485. Epub 2022 Dec 2.


Background: Indocyanine green fluorescence (ICG-F) stains hepatic tumours and delineates vascular and biliary structures in real-time. We detail the efficacy of ICG-F in robotic hepatobiliary surgery.

Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Cochrane Central were searched for original articles and meta-analyses detailing the outcomes of ICG-F in robotic hepatobiliary surgery.

Results: 214 abstracts were reviewed; 16 studies are presented. One single-institution study reported ICG-F in robotic right hepatectomy reduced postoperative bile leakage (0% vs. 12%, p = 0.023), R1 resection (0% vs. 16%, p = 0.019), and readmission (p = 0.023) without prolonging operative time (288 vs. 272 min, p = 0.778). Improved visualisation aided in attainment of R0 resection in partial hepatectomies and radical gallbladder adenocarcinoma resections. Fewer ICG-F-aided robotic cholecystectomies were converted to open procedure compared to laparoscopic cholecystectomies (2.1% vs. 8.9%, p = 0.03; 0.15% vs. 2.6%, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: ICG-F improves clinical outcomes in robotic hepatobiliary surgery without prolonging operative time. There is an opportunity to standardise ICG administration protocols, especially for hepatectomies.

Keywords: abdominal; cholecystectomy; digestive system; fluorescence; gall bladder; general surgery; hepatectomy; hepatobiliary; imaged guided surgery; intraoperative imaging; liver; minimal invasive surgery; tumour.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Coloring Agents
  • Fluorescence
  • Hepatectomy / methods
  • Humans
  • Indocyanine Green*
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures* / methods


  • Indocyanine Green
  • Coloring Agents