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01.12.2016 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

BMC Surgery 1/2016

Robotic vs laparoscopic distal gastrectomy with D2 lymphadenectomy for gastric cancer: a retrospective comparative mono-institutional study

BMC Surgery > Ausgabe 1/2016
Fabio Cianchi, Giampiero Indennitate, Giacomo Trallori, Manuela Ortolani, Beatrice Paoli, Giuseppe Macrì, Gabriele Lami, Beatrice Mallardi, Benedetta Badii, Fabio Staderini, Etleva Qirici, Antonio Taddei, Maria Novella Ringressi, Luca Messerini, Luca Novelli, Siro Bagnoli, Andrea Bonanomi, Caterina Foppa, Ileana Skalamera, Giulia Fiorenza, Giuliano Perigli



Robotic surgery has been developed with the aim of improving surgical quality and overcoming the limitations of conventional laparoscopy in the performance of complex mini-invasive procedures. The present study was designed to compare robotic and laparoscopic distal gastrectomy in the treatment of gastric cancer.


Between June 2008 and September 2015, 41 laparoscopic and 30 robotic distal gastrectomies were performed by a single surgeon at the same institution. Clinicopathological characteristics of the patients, surgical performance, postoperative morbidity/mortality and pathologic data were prospectively collected and compared between the laparoscopic and robotic groups by the Chi-square test and the Mann-Whitney test, as indicated.


There were no significant differences in patient characteristics between the two groups. Mean tumor size was larger in the laparoscopic than in the robotic patients (5.3 ± 0.5 cm and 3.0 ± 0.4 cm, respectively; P = 0.02). However, tumor stage distribution was similar between the two groups. The mean number of dissected lymph nodes was higher in the robotic than in the laparoscopic patients (39.1 ± 3.7 and 30.5 ± 2.0, respectively; P = 0.02). The mean operative time was 262.6 ± 8.6 min in the laparoscopic group and 312.6 ± 15.7 min in the robotic group (P < 0.001). The incidences of surgery-related and surgery-unrelated complications were similar in the laparoscopic and in the robotic patients. There were no significant differences in short-term clinical outcomes between the two groups.


Within the limitation of a small-sized, non-randomized analysis, our study confirms that robotic distal gastrectomy is a feasible and safe surgical procedure. When compared with conventional laparoscopy, robotic surgery shows evident benefits in the performance of lymphadenectomy with a higher number of retrieved and examined lymph nodes.
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