Robotic-assisted vaginal natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery versus robotic-assisted single-site port for benign hysterectomy: a comparison of surgical outcomes

J Robot Surg. 2023 Oct;17(5):2487-2494. doi: 10.1007/s11701-023-01680-1. Epub 2023 Jul 31.


The objective of this study is to evaluate the surgical outcomes for robotic-assisted vaginal natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (R-VNOTES) hysterectomy versus robotic-assisted single-site port (RSSP) hysterectomy when performed for benign indications. This is a retrospective chart review in an academic tertiary setting. 404 patients underwent hysterectomy for benign indications. R-VNOTES hysterectomy and RSSP hysterectomy were performed by a single minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon from January 2015 to August 2022. The primary outcome of our study was total operative time (minutes). Secondary outcomes included estimated blood loss (mL), length of hospital stay (days), and postoperative pain score. Other intraoperative and postoperative surgical complications were also compared. 159 patients underwent R-VNOTES hysterectomy, and 269 patients underwent RSSP hysterectomy. Median length of surgery (minutes) demonstrated a statistically significant shorter operative time in the R-VNOTES hysterectomy group when compared to the RSSP hysterectomy group, (132 min versus 146 min, respectively, p = 0.0001). Additionally, patients in the R-VNOTES hysterectomy group experienced decreased postoperative pain levels at week 1 (6 versus 7, respectively, p = 0.01) and week 3 (1.5 versus 2.5, respectively, p = 0.01) after surgery. There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups when comparing length of hospital stay, estimated blood loss, and weight of the uterus. There was no difference in rates of urinary tract infection, blood transfusion, bowel injury, readmission, reoperation, conversion, deep surgical site infection, and venous thromboembolism between both groups. However, there was a higher rate of superficial SSI in the RSSP hysterectomy group (0.6% versus 4.5%, respectively, p = 0.03). When compared to RSSP hysterectomy, R-VNOTES hysterectomy is safe and feasible, as both approaches have comparable surgical outcomes. Patients undergoing R-VNOTES hysterectomy had shorter length of surgery, decreased postoperative pain, and lower rates of superficial surgical site infections.

Keywords: Hysterectomy; Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery; Robotic VNOTES; Robotic surgery; Single-site surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / adverse effects
  • Hysterectomy, Vaginal / adverse effects
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Natural Orifice Endoscopic Surgery* / adverse effects
  • Pain, Postoperative / epidemiology
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures* / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vagina / surgery