Researchers performed a literature search of 13 papers published between 2000 and 2012 that compared the performance of robotic and laparoscopic techniques for colorectal cancer. The investigators examined the number of nodes resected, lengths of postoperative stay, and conversions to an open procedure.
Results: There were more conversions among evaluated laparoscopic procedures (mean 6.3% versus 2.7%). There were no significant differences in blood lows, number of nodes resected (16 for robotic versus 19 for laparoscopic), or procedure length.
My take: While there was initial hesitation about using a robot for resection of patients with colorectal cancer, the results suggest its equivalence to laparoscopic approaches. More long-term follow-up is needed to assess patient outcomes, however.
Reference: Wilder FG. Abstract #Su1601. Presented at Digestive Disease Week; May 18-21, 2013; Orlando, Florida (USA).
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