Colon and Rectum
- Alternative Author(s)
- Baek, Seong Kyu
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- Although robotic technology aims to obviate some of the limitations of conventional laparoscopic surgery, the role of robotics in colorectal surgery is still largely undefined and different with respect to its application in abdominal versus pelvic surgery. This review aims to elucidate current developments in colorectal robotic surgery.
In colon surgery, robotic techniques are associated with longer operative times and higher costs compared with laparoscopic surgery. However, robotics provides a stable camera platform and articulated instruments that are not subject to human tremors. Because of these advantages, robotic systems can play a role in complex procedures such as the dissection of lymph nodes around major vessels. In addition robot-assisted hand-sewn intracorporeal anastomoses can be easily performed by the surgeon, without a substantial need for a competent assistant. At present, although the short-term outcomes and oncological adequacy of robotic colon resection have been observed to be acceptable, the long-term outcomes of robotic colon resection remain unknown.
In rectal surgery, robotic-assisted surgery for rectal cancer can be carried out safely and in accordance with current oncological principles. However, to date, the impact of robotic rectal surgery on the long-term oncological outcomes of minimally invasive total mesorectal excision remains undetermined. Robotic total mesorectal excision may allow for better preservation of urinary and sexual functions, and robotic surgery may attenuate the learning curve for laparoscopic rectal resection. However, a major drawback to robotic rectal surgery is the high cost involved.
Large-scale prospective randomized clinical trials such as the international randomized trial ROLARR are required to establish the benefits of robotic rectal surgery.
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