Long-term follow-up after robotic cholecystectomy

Bodner, Johannes; Hoeller, Elisabeth; Wykypiel, Heinz; Klingler, Paul; Schmid, Thomas
April 2005
American Surgeon;Apr2005, Vol. 71 Issue 4, p281
Academic Journal
journal article
Most surgeons gain their first clinical experience with surgical robots when performing cholecystectomies. Although this procedure is rather easily applicable for the da Vinci surgical system, the long-term outcome after this operation has not yet been clarified. This study follows up our institutional first series of robotic cholecystectomies (June to November 2001). Patients were assessed on the basis of standardized management including a quality-of-life questionnaire, clinical examination, blood tests, and abdominal sonogram. The follow-up rate for 23 patients after robotic cholecystectomy was 100 per cent and the median follow-up time 33 (30-35) months. There was one (4%) recurrence of gallstone disease in a patient who suffered from solitary choledocholithiasis 29 months after robotic cholecystectomy. Abdominal sonogram, clinical examinations, and blood tests revealed no post-cholecystectomy-specific pathological findings. The main long-term symptoms were bloating (57%), heartburn (43%) and nausea (30%). Of the patients, 96 per cent (22 patients) felt that the operation had cured or significantly improved their specific preoperative symptoms. Long-term results after robotic laparoscopic cholecystectomy are excellent and comparable to those for the conventional laparoscopic procedure. The advanced vision control and instrument maneuverability of robotic surgery might open minimally invasive surgery also for complicated gallstone disease and bile duct surgery.


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