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Br J Surg. 2014 Apr;101(5):578-81. doi: 10.1002/bjs.9454.

Robotic transanal minimally invasive surgery for local excision of rectal neoplasms.

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Department of Colorectal Surgery, Churchill Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford, UK.



Robotic transanal minimally invasive surgery (TAMIS) may be an option for rectum-preserving excision of neoplasms. Recent cadaveric studies showed improved vision, control and manoeuvrability compared with use of laparoscopic instruments. This study reports the clinical application.


Consecutive patients eligible for transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) or TAMIS in three participating centres were operated on using a robotic platform and transanal glove port. Patient demographics, lesion characteristics, perioperative data, complications and follow-up of all patients were recorded prospectively.


Sixteen patients underwent robotic TAMIS for rectal lesions with a median (range) distance from the anal verge of 8 (range 3-10) cm. The median size of the resected specimen was 5·3 (0·5-21) cm(2) . The median docking time and duration of operation were 36 (18-75) and 108 (40-180) min respectively. One conversion to regular (non-robotic) TAMIS was needed owing to difficulties accessing the rectum. Glove puncture necessitated replacement in four procedures, an unstable pneumorectum arose during one operation and one patient developed a pneumoperitoneum. One patient required catheterization for urinary retention. The median hospital stay was 1·3 (0-4) days. The additional cost of the robotic approach was approximately €1000 per procedure (excluding the capital expenditure on the robotic system and its maintenance).


Robotic TAMIS is feasible in patients with rectal lesions. Potential advantages over TEM and non-robotic TAMIS will need to be balanced against the cost of the robotic system.

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