Colon Cancer Surgery: Robotic or Laparoscopic?

robotic surgery

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).

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.

Available now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Both can be found at the Apple Ibooks store. Coming Soon for iPad:  Understand Breast Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minuteable now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Thank you.

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Harvard AB Yale MD UPenn Radiation Oncology Radiation Oncologist, Seattle area

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