In a nutshell
This study compared the effectiveness and safety of laparoscopy (LRS) and robotic rectal cancer surgery (RRS). Researchers suggested that both treatments have similar cancer outcomes and side effects.
LRS (removal of the tumor by using a cable with a camera inserted near the tumor) is a non-invasive option alternative to open surgery. However, LRS is associated with increased rates of male sexual dysfunction and other complications. RRS uses robotic hands that match the doctor´s hand movements during the surgery using the tiny instruments in only small cuts. Prior studies suggested that fewer side effects are associated to RRS. However, as these studies have some limitations a comparative study between LRS and RRS was needed.
Methods & findings
This study reviewed information about 681 patients from 5 other studies. Of these 334 patients had RRS and 337 had LRS.
No differences were seen in post-surgery complications. LPS was the most performed surgery among the rectal cancer patients. RRS had a longer operating time (38.43 minutes) when compared to LPS.
The post-surgery cancer outcomes were similar. Patients that had RRS were at 42% less risk of the need of converting to an open surgery.
The bottom line
This study showed no differences in cancer outcomes or negative side effects between patients who had LRS or RRS.
The fine print
Most of the studies were small and the patient’s follow-up time too short.
Published By :
Annals of Surgery
Oct 03, 2017
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