Robotic-assisted versus conventional laparoscopic approach in patients with large rectal endometriotic nodule: the evaluation of safety and complications

Colorectal Dis. 2023 Nov;25(11):2233-2242. doi: 10.1111/codi.16785. Epub 2023 Oct 17.


Aim: The aim was to compare postoperative complications in patients undergoing the excision of a rectal endometriotic nodule over 3 cm by a robotic-assisted versus a conventional laparoscopic approach.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study evaluating prospectively collected data. The main interventions included rectal shaving, disc excision or colorectal resection. All the surgeries were performed in one endometriosis reference institute. To evaluate factors significantly associated with the risk of anastomosis leakage or fistula and bladder atony, we conducted a multivariate logistic regression model.

Results: A total of 548 patients with rectal endometriotic nodule over 3 cm in diameter (#ENZIAN C3) were included in the final analysis. The demography and clinical characteristics of women managed by the robotic-assisted (n = 97) approach were similar to those of patients who underwent conventional laparoscopy (n = 451). The multivariate logistic regression demonstrated that the surgical approach (robotic-assisted vs. laparoscopic) was not associated with the rate of anastomosis leakage or fistula (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.3-4.0) and bladder dysfunction (aOR 0.5, 95% CI 0.1-1.8). A rectal nodule located lower than 6 cm from the anal verge was significantly associated with anastomosis leakage (aOR 4.1, 95% CI 1.4-10.8) and bladder atony (aOR 4.3, 95% CI 1.5-12.3). Anastomosis leakage was also associated with smoking (aOR 3.2, 95% CI 1.4-7.4), significant vaginal infiltration (aOR 2.7, 95% CI 1.2-6.7) and excision of nodules involving sacral roots (aOR 5.6, 95% CI 1.7-15.5).

Conclusion: The robotic-assisted approach was not associated with increased risk of main postoperative complications compared to conventional laparoscopy for the treatment of large rectal endometriotic nodules.

Keywords: anastomosis complications; bladder atony; deep infiltrating endometriosis; rectal nodule; robotic assistance.

MeSH terms

  • Anastomotic Leak / epidemiology
  • Anastomotic Leak / etiology
  • Anastomotic Leak / surgery
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Endometriosis* / surgery
  • Female
  • Fistula* / complications
  • Fistula* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy* / adverse effects
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery
  • Rectal Diseases* / complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome