Background Undoubtedly, robotic systems have largely penetrated the surgical field. For any new operative approach to become an accepted alternative to conventional methods, it must be proved safe and result in comparable outcomes. The purpose of this study is to compare the short-term operative as well as oncologic outcomes of robotic-assisted and laparoscopic rectal cancer resections. MethodsThis is a prospective randomized clinical trial conducted on patients with rectal cancer undergoing either robotic-assisted or laparoscopic surgery from April 2015 till February 2017. Patients' demographics, operative parameters, and short-term clinical and oncological outcomes were analyzed. Results Fifty-seven patients underwent permuted block randomization. Of these patients, 28 were assigned to undergo robotic-assisted rectal surgery and 29 to laparoscopic rectal surgery. After exclusion of 12 patients following randomization, 45 patients were included in the analysis. No significant differences exist between both groups in terms of age, gender, BMI, ASA score, clinical stage, and rate of receiving upfront chemoradiation. Estimated blood loss was evidently lower in the robotic than in the laparoscopic group (median: 200 versus 325 ml, p= 0.050). A significantly more distal margin is achieved in the robotic than in the laparoscopic group (median: 2.8 versus 1.8, p< 0.001). Although the circumferential radial margin (CRM) was complete in 18 patients (85.7%) in the robotic group in contrast to 15 patients (62.5%) in the laparoscopic group, it did not differ statistically (p=0.079). The overall postoperative complication rates were similar between the two groups. Conclusion To our knowledge, this is the first prospective randomized trial of robotic rectal surgery in the Middle East and Northern Africa region. Our early experience indicates that robotic rectal surgery is a feasible and safe procedure. It is not inferior to standard laparoscopy in terms of oncologic radicality and surgical complications. Organization number is IORG0003381. IRB number is IRB00004025.
Background Despite several improvements in surgical techniques, the intracorporeal division of the distal end of the rectum is still challenging, particularly when it is too deep in a narrow pelvis. Even though it helps avoid spillage, the double-stapling technique (DST) raises concerns regarding safety and anastomotic leakage if multiple stapler firings are essential to complete the rectal division. Objective To assess the feasibility of vertically dividing the rectum and its impact in reducing the number of reloads essential for that division in non-low rectal cancer patients undergoing total mesorectal excision (TME). Materials and Methods A retroprospective study. Results From January 2017 to November 2021, a total of 123 patients with sigmoid and rectal cancers were enrolled in the present study; their data were collected and analyzed, and 21 patients were excluded. The remaining sample of 102 subjects was composed of 47 male (46%) and 55 female (54%) patients with a median age of 54 years (range: 30 to 78 years). Only 1 reload was enough to complete the rectal division in 82 (80.39%) cases, and 2 reloads were used in the remaining 20 (19.61%) patients. Anastomotic leakage was clinically evident in 4 cases (3.9%). No statically significant difference was observed when firing one or two staplers. No 30-day mortality was recorded in this series. Conclusion Our early experience indicates that this type of division has a real advantage in terms of decreasing the number of reloads needed and, in turn, lowering the incidence of anastomotic leakage after partial mesorectal excision (PME) or TME when applied with proper patient selection.
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