Robotic versus laparoscopic colorectal surgery

Becky B. Trinh, Nicole R. Jackson, Adam T. Hauch, Tian Hu, Emad Kandil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: Robotic approaches have become increasingly used for colorectal surgery. The aim of this study is to examine the safety and efficacy of robotic colorectal procedures in an adult population. Study Design: A systematic review of articles in both PubMed and Embase comparing laparoscopic and robotic colorectal procedures was performed. Clinical trials and observational studies in an adult population were included. Approaches were evaluated in terms of operative time, length of stay, estimated blood loss, number of lymph nodes harvested, and perioperative complications. Mean net differences and odds ratios were calculated to examine treatment effect of each group. Results: Two hundred eighteen articles were identified, and 17 met the inclusion criteria, representing 4,342 patients: 920 robotic and 3,422 in the laparoscopic group. Operative time for the robotic approach was 38.849 minutes longer (95% confidence interval: 17.944 to 59.755). The robotic group had lower estimated blood loss (14.17 mL; 95% confidence interval:-27.63 to-1.60), and patients were 1.78 times more likely to be converted to an open procedure (95% confidence interval: 1.24 to 2.55). There was no difference between groups with respect to number of lymph nodes harvested, length of stay, readmission rate, or perioperative complication rate. Conclusions: The robotic approach to colorectal surgery is as safe and efficacious as conventional laparoscopic surgery. However, it is associated with longer operative time and an increased rate of conversion to laparotomy. Further prospective randomized controlled trials are warranted to examine the cost-effectiveness of robotic colorectal surgery before it can be adopted as the new standard of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2014.00187
JournalJournal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 by JSLS, Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons. Published by the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, Inc.


  • Colorectal surgery
  • Laparoscopic
  • Robotic


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