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Oncologic outcomes of robotic-assisted total mesorectal excision for the treatment of rectal cancer.

Author(s): Baek JH, McKenzie S, Garcia-Aguilar J, Pigazzi A

Affiliation(s): Department of Surgery, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Gil Medical Center, Namdong-gu, Incheon, Korea.

Publication date & source: 2010-05, Ann Surg., 251(5):882-6.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate local recurrence and survival after robotic-assisted total mesorectal excision (RTME) for primary rectal cancer. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: RTME is a novel approach for the treatment of rectal cancer and has been shown to be safe and effective. However, the oncologic results of this approach have not been reported in terms of local recurrence and survival rate. METHODS: Sixty-four consecutive rectal cancer patients with stage I-III disease treated between November 2004 and June 2008 were analyzed prospectively. RESULTS: All patients underwent RTME: 34 had colorectal anastomosis, 18 underwent coloanal anastomosis, and 12 received abdominoperineal resection. Operative mortality rate was 0%. The median operative time was 270 min and median blood loss was 200 mL. The conversion rate was 9.4%. Anastomotic leakage occurred in 4 of 52 (7.7%) patients with anastomosis. Median number of harvested lymph nodes was 14.5. Median distal margin of tumor was 3.4 cm. The circumferential resection margin was negative in all surgical specimens. No port-site recurrence occurred in any patient. Six patients developed recurrence: 2 combined local and distant, and 4 distal alone (mean follow-up of 20.2 months; range, 1.7-52.5). None of the patients developed isolated local recurrence. The mean time to local recurrence was 23 months. The 3-year overall and disease-free survival rates were 96.2% and 73.7%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: RTME can be carried out safely and effectively in terms of recurrence and survival rates. Further prospective randomized trials are necessary to better define the absolute benefits and limitations of robotic rectal surgery.

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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