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J Minim Access Surg. 2019 Jul 24. doi: 10.4103/jmas.JMAS_318_18. [Epub ahead of print]

Rate of conversion to an open procedure is reduced in patients undergoing robotic colorectal surgery: A single-institution experience.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Mercer University School of Medicine, Navicent Health, Macon, Georgia.
Department of Surgical Oncology and Colorectal Surgery, Mercer University School of Medicine, Navicent Health, Macon, Georgia.



Robotic-assisted surgery is becoming increasingly used in colorectal operations. It has many advantages over laparoscopic surgery including three-dimensional viewing, motion scaling, improved dexterity and ergonomics as well as increased precision. However, there are also disadvantages to robotic surgery such as lack of tactile feedback, cost as well as limitations on multi-quadrant surgeries. The purpose of this study was to compare the rate of conversion to an open surgery in patients undergoing robotic-assisted colorectal surgery and traditional laparoscopic surgery.


Patients undergoing minimally invasive colorectal surgery for neoplastic and dysplastic disease from 2009 to 2016 were identified and examined retrospectively. The statistical software SAS, manufactured by SAS Institute, Cary, North Carolina. Continuous variables were analysed using analysis of variance test. Chi-square test was used to analyse categorical variables. P <0.05 was considered statistically significant.


Two hundred and thirty-five patients were identified that underwent minimally invasive colorectal surgery. One hundred and sixty-four underwent laparoscopic resection and 71 underwent robotic-assisted resection. There was no statistical difference in gender or race between the two groups (both P > 0.05). Patients that underwent robotic-assisted resection were slightly younger than patients that underwent laparoscopic resection (61.6 years vs. 65.6 years; P = 0.02). When examining conversion to an open procedure, patients that underwent robotic-assisted resection had a significantly lower chance of conversion than did the patients undergoing a laparoscopic approach (11.27% vs. 29.78%; P = 0.0018).


Conversion rates from a minimally invasive procedure to an open procedure appear to be lower with robotic-assisted surgery compared to laparoscopic surgery.


Conversion rates; dysplasia; neoplasia; robotic surgery

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