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J Am Coll Surg. 2012 Jul;215(1):107-14; discussion 114-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2012.02.005. Epub 2012 May 4.

The first national examination of outcomes and trends in robotic surgery in the United States.

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Department of Surgery, University of California, San Diego, CA 92103, USA.



There are few population-based data describing outcomes of robotic-assisted surgery. We compared outcomes of robotic-assisted, laparoscopic, and open surgery in a nationally representative population database.


A retrospective analysis of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database from October 2008 to December 2009 was performed. We identified the most common robotic procedures by ICD-9 procedure codes and grouped them into categories by procedure type. Multivariate analyses examined mortality, length of stay (LOS), and total hospital charges, adjusting for age, race, sex, Charlson comorbidity index, and teaching hospital status.


A total of 368,239 patients were identified. On adjusted analysis, compared with open, robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery was associated with decreased odds of mortality (odds ratio = 0.1; 95% CI, 0.0-0.2; p < 0.001), decreased mean LOS (-2.4 days; 95% CI, -2.5 to 2.3; p < 0.001), and increased mean total charges in all procedures (range $3,852 to $15,329) except coronary artery bypass grafting (-$17,318; 95% CI, -34,492 to -143; p = 0.048) and valvuloplasty (not statistically significant). Compared with laparoscopic, robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery was associated with decreased odds of mortality (odds ratio = 0.1; 95% CI, 0.0-0.6; p = 0.008), decreased LOS overall (-0.6 days; 95% CI, -0.7 to -0.5; p < 0.001), but increased LOS in prostatectomy and other kidney/bladder procedures (0.3 days; 95% CI, 0.1-0.4; p = 0.006; 0.8 days; 95% CI, 0.0-1.6; p = 0.049), and increased total charges ($1,309; 95% CI, 519-2,099; p = 0.001).


Data suggest that, compared with open surgery, robotic-assisted surgery results in decreased LOS and diminished likelihood of death. However, these benefits are not as apparent when comparing robotic-assisted laparoscopic with nonrobotic laparoscopic procedures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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