Is Robotic Surgery Better than Traditional Colectomy?

Nita Ahuja, MD Departments of Surgery and Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MarylandMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Nita Ahuja, MD
Departments of Surgery and Oncology,
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, Maryland

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Ahuja: Across the nation, laparoscopic colectomy is performed about as frequently as open colectomy, despite being associated with a lower complication rate and a lower overall hospital cost. On the other hand,  an exponentially growing prevalence was found with robotic colectomy, a procedure that has so far demonstrated only equivalent outcomes with laparoscopic colectomy but a higher overall cost.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Ahuja: Yes, one would expect that robotic colectomy, offering better ergonomics, instrument articulation, visualization, and ease of use, to be associated with a better outcome profile in comparison with traditional laparoscopic colectomy. However, only equivalent outcomes were found between robotic and laparoscopic colectomy yet robotic surgery costs more.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Ahuja: For clinicians, judicious selection of patient for each surgical approach should be employed in order to optimize outcome. For patients, each surgical approach has its advantages and disadvantages for each individual patient, a newer or pricier approach isn’t necessarily the best choice for every patient.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Ahuja: Other aspects of robot’s potential advantages over traditional laparoscopic surgery such as decreased postoperative pain, shorter learning curve, or facilitation of single-incision techniques, should be explored.

Citation:

Is Minimally Invasive Colon Resection Better Than Traditional Approaches?
First Comprehensive National Examination With Propensity Score Matching

Juo Y, Hyder O, Haider AH, Camp M, Lidor A, Ahuja N. Is Minimally Invasive Colon Resection Better Than Traditional Approaches?: First Comprehensive National Examination With Propensity Score Matching. JAMA Surg. 2013;():. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2013.3660.