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J Gastrointest Surg. 2002 Jan-Feb;6(1):11-5; discussion 15-6.

Computer-enhanced vs. standard laparoscopic antireflux surgery.

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Department of Surgery and the Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery, The Ohio State University School of Medicine and Public Health, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Computer-assisted telesurgical devices have recently been approved in the United States for general surgery. To determine the safety and efficacy of these procedures, we performed a prospective trial of computer-enhanced "robotic" fundoplication compared to standard laparoscopic control procedures. Consecutive patients undergoing surgical treatment for gastroesophageal reflux were included. The operating surgeon worked at a console using a three-dimensional image and manipulated hand controls. Operative times, complications, and length of hospital stay were recorded. A standardized questionnaire was administered to evaluate symptoms. Twenty patients were entered into each group. There were no differences in age, preoperative weight, or sex. Operative times were significantly longer in the robot group (97 vs. 141 minutes). There were no complications and most patients went home the first postoperative day. At follow-up, symptoms were similar in both groups; however, there was a significant difference in the number of patients taking antisecretory medication--none in the robotic group but six in the laparoscopic group reported regular use. Computer-assisted laparoscopic antireflux surgery is safe. However, operative times are longer, with little difference in outcomes. At the current level of technology and experience, robotic antireflux surgery appears to offer little advantage over standard laparoscopic approaches.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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