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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2015 August;70(4):241-7


language: English

Challenges in robotic distal pancreatectomy: systematic review of current practice

Guerra F., Pesi B., Amore Bonapasta S., Di Marino M., Perna F., Annecchiarico M., Coratti A.

Division of Oncological and Robotic General Surgery, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy


Over the last decade, robotics has gained popularity and is increasingly employed to accomplish several abdominal surgical procedures. Nevertheless, pancreatectomies are regarded as demanding procedures for which the application of minimally-invasive surgery is still limited and its effectiveness has not been conclusively established. We aimed to investigate the current role of robot-assisted surgery to perform distal pancreatectomy. A systematic review of the English-language literature was conducted for articles dealing with robotic-assisted distal pancreatectomies. All relevant papers were evaluated on surgical and oncological outcomes. A total of 10 articles reporting on robotic distal pancreatectomies were finally considered in the analysis, including 259 patients. Mean operative time was 271 minutes (range 181-398); mean blood loss was 210 mL (range 104-361), in 11.6% of cases conversion to laparotomy occurred, spleen preservation was accomplished in 51.4% of procedures, mean time of postoperative hospital stay was 7 days. Overall, postoperative mortality and morbidity were 0% and 23.4% respectively, the mean number of lymph nodes harvested was 12.7. In all included series, no case of R1 resection was reported. Despite its relatively recent introduction in clinical practice, robotic-assisted surgery has been widely employed to perform distal pancreatectomy worldwide and it should be considered a safe and effective procedure. Both surgical and pathologic data support its application in the management of pancreatic lesions of the body and tail.

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