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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2005 October;60(5):401-16

language: English

Robotics in colorectal surgery

Kariv Y., Delaney C. P.


A minimally invasive approach has not yet become the gold standard in colorectal procedures, despite its proven advantages in postoperative recovery. This is in part the result of the technical limitations in today's standard laparoscopy, and the advanced surgical skills that are required. Robotic technology overcomes some of these limitations by successfully providing intuitive motion and enhanced precision and accuracy, in an environment that is much more ergonomic. While currently performed in only few designated centers, this technology has already been applied in almost every major procedure performed to treat both benign and malignant conditions of the large bowel. The feasibility of performing these procedures using robotic systems has been reported in several series. Conversion and complication rates are low, and short term results are comparable to conventional laparoscopy. However, no clear advantages to patients have been demonstrated yet. Furthermore, robotic technology is associated with a significant increase in time consumed during surgery and cost of care. Nevertheless, a great potential for patients benefit in the future may exist with this technology. Increasing clinical experience with these systems, further technological developments, and continuous research are required before robotic technology can be routinely incorporated into surgical procedures on the colon and rectum.

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