Application of Robotics in General Surgery: Initial Experience

Nguyen, Ninh T.; Hinojosa, Marcelo W.; Finley, David; Stevens, Melinda; Paya, Mahbod
October 2004
American Surgeon;Oct2004, Vol. 70 Issue 10, p914
Academic Journal
Robotic surgery was recently approved for clinical use in general abdominal surgery. The aim of this study was to review our experience with the da Vinci™ surgical system during laparoscopic general surgical procedures. Eighteen patients underwent robotically assisted laparoscopic abdominal surgery between June 2002 and March 2003. Main outcome measures were operative time, room setup time, robotic arm-positioning and surgical time, blood loss, conversion to laparoscopy, length of stay, and morbidity. The types of robotically assisted laparoscopic procedures were excision of gastric leiomyoma (n = 1), Heller myotomy (n = 1), cholecystectomy (n = 2), gastric banding (n = 2), Nissen fundoplication (n = 4), and gastric bypass (n = 8). The mean room setup time was 63 ± 14 minutes, and the mean robotic arm-positioning time was 16 ± 7 minutes. Conversion to laparoscopy occurred in two (11%) of 18 cases because of equipment difficulty (n = 1) and technical difficulty (n = 1). Estimated blood loss was 91 ± 71 mL. The mean operative time was 156 ± 42 minutes, and the robotic operative time was 27% of the total operative time. The mean length of hospital stay was 2.2 ± 1.5 days. There was one postoperative wound infection and one anastomotic stricture. Robotically assisted laparoscopic abdominal surgery is feasible and safe; however, the theoretical advantages of the da Vinci™ surgical system were not clinically apparent.


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