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Acta Chir Belg. 2012 May-Jun;112(3):209-12.

Robotic surgery of locally advanced gastric cancer -- an initial experience.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery and Liver Transplantation, Fundeni Clinical Institute, Bucharest, Romania. catvasilescu@gmail.com



The treatment of gastric cancer is currently based on open gastric resection and regional lymph node dissection. Although the minimally invasive approach is currently being adopted for ever more complex procedures in order to improve post-operative outcomes, the laparoscopic radical D2 gastrectomy has not yet gained a wide acceptance, it being considered one of the most difficult operations in general surgery. Robotic surgery is better than the conventional laparoscopic approach, in that it avoids some of its limitations. Wristed instruments with seven degrees of freedom, the tremor filtering system, the ability to scale motion, and tridimensional vision improve the surgeons' dexterity when a fine manipulation of tissues in a narrow, fixed operating field or handsewn sutures are required. This study will attempt to evaluate the feasibility of robotic total and subtotal gastrectomy for locally advanced gastric cancer.


Two patients with locally advanced gastric adenocarcinoma underwent robot-assisted gastrectomy with D2 lymph node dissection, with no open or laparoscopic conversion.


The post-operative evolution was uneventful and they were both discharged without complications. The number of lymph nodes retrieved was comparable to open surgery. Currently, after a follow-up period of 23 and 26 months respectively, both patients are disease-free.


Robotic surgery can be a simpler way of expanding the indications of minimally invasive surgery so as to include the advanced gastric cancer. However, controlled prospective studies are needed in order to evaluate the role of robotics in the management of gastric cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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