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Minerva Chirurgica 2018 October;73(5):451-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4733.18.07806-9


lingua: Inglese

Iatrogenic spleen injury risk during robotic left colonic and rectal resections by routine left flexure mobilization technique: a retrospective study

Alberto MANGANO , Eduardo FERNANDES, Valentina VALLE, Roberto BUSTOS, Federico GHEZA, Pier Cristoforo GIULIANOTTI

Division of General, Minimally Invasive, and Robotic Surgery, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

BACKGROUND: The routine mobilization of the left colonic flexure as a standard procedure during left colonic/rectal resection is a controversial topic in open and minimally invasive surgery. According to some authors, this maneuver may increase the risk of iatrogenic spleen damage; for others this does not change the odds. Ligaments over-traction is the most frequent injury mechanism. Some documented risk factors are reported: laparotomic approach, male gender, vascular disease, cancer, diverticulitis, surgery performed in emergency-setting. The type of procedure influences the associated risk: transverse colectomy is the riskiest, followed by left colonic resection and pancolectomy.
METHODS: Retrospective original paper. Sample size - a total of 125 patients have been considered. 75 robotic left colonic resections (60%), 40 robotic rectal resections (32%) and 10 robotic pancolectomy (8%). Primary outcomes - 1) percentage of iatrogenic splenic injuries; 2) conversion rate. Secondary outcomes - 1) intra-/postoperative complications; 2) anastomotic leakage rate; 3) mortality. In order to avoid potential confounding factors and technical/expertise heterogeneity, all the procedures included have been performed using the same standardized operative technique and by the same experienced surgeon (P.C.G.).
RESULTS: We retrospectively analyzed 125 procedures. Primary outcomes - 1) iatrogenic splenic injuries: 0%; 2) conversion rate: 1.6%. Secondary outcomes - 1) intraoperative complications: 0%; 2) anastomotic leakage rate: 1 case of leakage out of 125 cases (1.3% of the left colectomy sub-sample); in this case the leakage was probably due to an infectious process rather than a vascular deficit; 3) mortality: 0%; 4) miscellanea postoperatory complications (small bowel obstructions, wound infection, pelvic collections, pneumonia and acute kidney injury) are detailed in the manuscript.
CONCLUSIONS: In our experience, and according to some of the literature data as well, during robotic left colonic/rectal resections the routine mobilization of the left flexure as a standard procedure is not a risk factor in terms of iatrogenic spleen injury rate. Conversely, this technique may be beneficial as it does not excessively extend the operative time, increases the surgical skills acquirement, and reduces the tension-related anastomotic ischemia. It also allows a better oncological dissection. Standard laparoscopic approach reduces the rate of spleen by almost 3.5 times in comparison to open surgery. The improved technical accuracy provided by the robotic platform may decrease the rate of splenic injury. More studies are needed on the topic to confirm our findings.

KEY WORDS: Complications - Splenic rupture - Colorectal surgery - Robotic surgical procedures

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