TECHNIQUES IN COLOPROCTOLOGY, vol.24, no.10, pp.1035-1042, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
Background In minimally invasive surgery, complete mesocolic excision (CME) for transverse colon cancer is challenging; thus, non-CME resections are commonly preferred when laparoscopy is used. Robotic technology has been developed to reduce the limitations of laparoscopy. The aim of our study was to evaluate whether robotic CME for transverse colon cancer can be performed with short-term outcomes similar to those of laparoscopic conventional colectomy (CC). Methods A retrospective review of 118 consecutive patients having robotic CME or laparoscopic CC for transverse colon cancer in two specialized centers between May 2011 and September 2018 was performed. Perioperative 30-day outcomes of the two procedures were compared. Results There were 38 and 80 patients in the robotic CME group and laparoscopic CC group, respectively. The groups were comparable regarding preoperative characteristics. Intraoperative results were similar, including blood loss (median 50 vs 25 ml), complications (5.3% vs 3.8%), and conversions (none vs 7.5%). The rate of intracorporeal anastomosis was significantly higher (86.8% vs 20.0%), mean operative time was longer (325.0 +/- 123.2 vs 159.3 +/- 56.1 min (p < 0.001), and the mean number of harvested lymph nodes was higher in the robotic CME group (46.1 +/- 22.2 vs 39.1 +/- 17.8, p = 0.047). There were only minor differences in length of hospital stay (7.2 +/- 3.1 vs 7.9 +/- 4.0 days), anastomotic leak (none vs 2.6%), bleeding (none vs 1.3%), surgical site infections (10.5% vs 12.5%), and reoperations (2.6% vs 6.3%). Conclusions Robotic CME can be performed with a similar morbidity profile as laparoscopic CC for transverse colon cancer along with a higher rate of intracorporeal anastomosis, and higher number of lymph nodes retrieved, but longer operative times.