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Ann Surg Oncol. 2013 Jun;20(6):1774-80. doi: 10.1245/s10434-012-2823-3. Epub 2013 Mar 17.

Robotic versus open pancreatectomy: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Department of General Surgery, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.



Robotic surgery is gaining momentum with advantages for minimally invasive management of pancreatic diseases. The objective of this meta-analysis is to compare the clinical and oncologic safety and efficacy of robotic versus open pancreatectomy.


A systematic review of the literature was performed to identify studies comparing robotic pancreatectomy and open pancreatectomy. Postoperative outcomes, intraoperative outcomes, and oncologic safety were evaluated. Meta-analysis was performed using a random-effect model.


Seven studies matched the selection criteria, including 137 (40 %) cases of robotic pancreatectomy and 203 (60 %) cases of open pancreatectomy. None of the included studies were randomized. Overall complication rate was significantly lower in robotic group [risk difference (RD) = -0.12, 95 % confidence interval (CI) -0.22 to -0.01, P = 0.03], as well as reoperation rate (RD = -0.12; CI -0.2 to -0.03, P = 0.006) and margin positivity (RD = -0.18; 95 % CI -0.3 to -0.06, P = 0.003). There was no significant difference in postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) incidence and mortality. The median (range) conversion rate was 10 % (0-12 %).


The results of this meta-analysis suggest that robotic pancreatectomy is as safe and efficient as, if not superior to, open surgery for patients with benign or malignant pancreatic diseases. However, the evidence is limited and more randomized controlled trials are needed to further clearly define this role.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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