“Robotic surgery in gynecologic oncology.”
Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol 21(1): 25-30.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Robotic surgery is rapidly taking the place of laparoscopy in many gynecologic oncology practices. Numerous practitioners have published their experience with this new technology. A review of their findings is timely and relevant. RECENT FINDINGS: The majority of case series of robotic surgery for hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy show that the procedure is feasible and at least comparable to laparoscopic surgery. Similarly, case series of robotic radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer also compare favorably to laparoscopic surgery. Less common procedures such as robotic trachelectomy, parametrectomy, and retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy have also been described. Numerous patient and practitioner advantages are discussed in this review. SUMMARY: Robotic surgery is a minimally invasive alternative to laparoscopy for the surgical treatment of endometrial cancer and cervical cancer. Its role in ovarian cancer is just starting to be explored.
“The use of minimally invasive surgery for endometrial cancer.”
Cancer Control 16(1): 30-7.
BACKGROUND: Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic malignancy in the United States. Surgical staging is an integral component in the treatment of this disease. Minimally invasive surgical techniques have been utilized with increasing frequency in its management. METHODS: This article reviews the use of minimally invasive surgery for the treatment of endometrial cancer. RESULTS: Prospective trials and retrospective analyses have demonstrated the safety and feasibility of laparoscopy in performing hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, and pelvic and periaortic lymphadenectomy for surgical staging in endometrial cancer. The use of minimally invasive techniques does not appear to have an adverse impact on survival, and it improves quality of life in the postoperative period. Robotic surgery has been used in the management of this disease with promising preliminary results. CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopy is a safe and effective approach for surgical staging of selected patients with endometrial cancer. Further studies and cost-benefit analyses are required to determine if the use of robotics improves outcomes over standard laparoscopy and can extend the benefits of minimally invasive surgery to a larger proportion of patients with this common gynecologic malignancy.
“Trends in laparoscopic and robotic surgery among gynecologic oncologists: A survey update.”
Objectives: To assess the use of traditional and robotic assisted laparoscopy by Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) members and to compare the results with those of our published survey in 2004. Methods: Surveys were mailed to SGO members, and anonymous responses were collected by mail or through a web site. Data were analyzed and compared with those of our previous survey. In addition, we gathered information on the effect of robotic assisted surgery on the management of gynecologic malignancies. Results: Three hundred eighty-eight (46%) of 850 SGO members responded to the survey. Three hundred fifty-two (91%) indicated that they performed laparoscopic surgery in their practice (compared with 84% in the 2004 survey). The three most common laparoscopic procedures were laparoscopic hysterectomy and staging for uterine cancer (43%), diagnostic laparoscopy for adnexal masses (39%), and prophylactic bilateral oophorectomy for high-risk women (11%). Although 76% of respondents had received either limited or no laparoscopic training during their fellowship, 78% now believe that maximum or much emphasis should be placed on laparoscopic training (55% in the 2004 survey). Twenty-four percent of respondents indicated that they performed robotic assisted surgery, with 66% indicating that they planned to increase their use of the procedure in the next year. Conclusions: We found an overall increase in the use of and perceived indications for minimally invasive surgery in gynecologic oncology among SGO members. Endometrial cancer staging has become an accepted indication for laparoscopy. In addition, most respondents were planning on increasing their use of robotic assisted surgery in the next year. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“Robotic radical hysterectomy: Technical aspects.”
Objectives: To describe the surgical technique of robotic radical hysterectomy. Methods: Retrospective video review of the instrumentation and methodology employed in 21 robotic radical hysterectomies for cervical cancer Stages IB-IIA. Results: All radical hysterectomies were performed with the use of three or four robotic arms, three or four robotic instruments and one assistant trocar. The mean operating time was 225.8 min; mean console time was 182.1 min; and mean docking time was 2.2 min. The mean blood loss was 174.6 ml, mean number of lymph nodes 26.2, and the mean length of hospital stay was 1.6 days. Conclusions: Robotic technology facilitates the performance of robotic radical hysterectomy. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“Vaginal robot-assisted radical hysterectomy (VRARH) after laparoscopic staging: feasibility and operative results.”
Int J Med Robot.
BACKGROUND: To describe a technique of vaginal robot-assisted radical hysterectomy (VRARH) that utilizes the advantages of a robotic system and eliminates the manipulation of cancer tissue. METHODS: A prospective study was performed for VRARH using the da Vinci((R)) robotic surgical system in 12 patients. The procedure was indicated in patients with cervical cancer stage FIGO IB1 after laparoscopic lymphadenectomy. A tumour-adapted vaginal cuff was created transvaginally. RESULTS: All operations were completed with minimal blood loss (mean 123 ml). The mean operative time including para-aortic lympadenectomy was 356 min, the vaginal cuff creation took 43 min and the radical robotic resection 68 min. No uterine manipulator was used. There were no bladder or bowel complications and no conversion to standard laparoscopy or laparotomy. CONCLUSIONS: The VRARH technique combines the advantages of the vaginal route and robotic laparoscopic surgery: tumour contamination is avoided and complications are minimized. This procedure could be superior to techniques described previously. Copyright (c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
“Current developments for pelvic exenteration in gynecologic oncology.”
Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol 21(1): 4-9.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The present review aims to update new techniques of pelvic exenteration including minimal invasive surgery, and discuss other aspects of this radical surgery, including worldwide differences. RECENT FINDINGS: Major advances are made since the first description of pelvic exenteration and the operation is still under evolution. Explorative laparoscopy prior to exenteration is a valuable alternative to laparotomy to elect candidates for pelvic exenteration. There are considerable differences with respect to indications, contraindications, preoperative staging and adjuvant therapy after exenteration in different countries. Advances in laparoscopic instruments also led to the laparoscopic exenteration. The main limiting step of the operation is urinary diversion. New techniques of laparoscopic-assisted and robotic-assisted techniques of urinary diversion have been reported that decrease the operation time. Vascularized muscle flaps are preferred by many surgeons to fill the empty pelvis and provide an acceptable vaginal reconstruction. J-pouch seems to be a safer technique than end-to-end coloanal anastomosis for bowel reconstruction. Developments in the bioengineering tissue for pelvic reconstruction are required. SUMMARY: Laparoscopy has the advantages of decreased blood loss, improved convalescence, lower incidence of wound infection and incisional hernia, short recovery periods, rapid return of bowel function, better pain control and improved cosmetics compared with laparotomy for pelvic exenteration. Magnification and improved visualization permits en-bloc dissection of tumor and good anastomosis technique. New techniques of urinary diversion, orthotopic neobladder and coloanal are promising.
“Minimally invasive comprehensive surgical staging for endometrial cancer: Robotics or laparoscopy?”
Objective: To compare outcomes between robotic versus laparoscopic hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy in patients with endometrial cancer. Methods: A cohort study was performed by prospectively identifying all patients with clinical stage I or occult stage II endometrial cancer who underwent robotic hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy from 2006-2008 and retrospectively comparing data using the same surgeons’ laparoscopic hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy cases from 1998-2005, prior to our robotic experience. Patient demographics, operative times, complications, conversion rates, pathologic results, and length of stay were analyzed. Results: 181 patients (105 robotic and 76 laparoscopic) met inclusion criteria. There was no significant difference between the two groups in median age, uterine weight, bilateral pelvic or aortic lymph node counts, or complication rates in patients whose surgeries were completed minimally invasively. Despite a higher BMI (34 vs. 29, P < 0.001), the estimated blood loss (100 vs. 250 mL, P < 0.001), transfusion rate (3% vs. 18%, RR 0.18, 95%CI 0.05-0.64, P = 0.002), laparotomy conversion rate (12% vs. 26%, RR 0.47, 95%CI 0.25-0.89, P = 0.017), and length of stay (median: 1 vs. 2 nights, P < 0.001) were lower in the robotic patients compared to the laparoscopic cohort. The odds ratio of conversion to laparotomy based on BMI for robotics compared to laparoscopy is 0.20 (95% CI 0.08-0.56, P = 0.002). The mean skin to skin time (242 vs. 287 min, P < 0.001) and total room time (305 vs. 336 min, P < 0.001) was shorter for the robotic cohort. Conclusion: Robotic hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy for endometrial carcinoma can be accomplished in heavier patients and results in shorter operating times and hospital length of stay, a lower transfusion rate, and less frequent conversion to laparotomy when compared to laparoscopic hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“Robotic-assisted laparoscopic cerclage in a pregnant patient.”
Am J Obstet Gynecol 200(2): e10-1.
A robotic-assisted laparoscopic technique for transabdominal cerclage placement could offer improvements over the traditional laparoscopic approach. A gravid female with no vaginal portion of the cervix underwent a robotic-assisted laparoscopic cerclage at 12 weeks’ gestation and ultimately delivered a healthy infant at term.
“Robotic extraperitoneal aortic lymphadenectomy: Development of a technique.”
Objectives: To develop a robotic technique for extraperitoneal aortic lymphadenectomy in cadavers followed by application in a patient with advanced cervical cancer. Methods: Two fresh frozen female torso cadavers were used to develop the correct placement of the robotic column and trocars, respectively, to allow for a safe and adequate performance of aortic lymphadenectomy using the da Vinci S system. The resulting technique was applied to a patient with cervical cancer Stage IB2 presenting with enlarged aortic nodes. Results: Appropriate sites for trocar and robotic column placement were identified in the female cadavers. In the patient, the operating, docking, and console times were 103, 3.5, and 49 minutes, respectively. The blood loss was 30 ml. Selective removal of 5 enlarged aortic nodes revealed no evidence of metastases. Conclusion: Robotic extraperitoneal aortic lymphadenectomy is feasible provided there is proper robotic trocar and column placement. The operating time and number of aortic nodes selectively removed by robotics in this patient are within the range of those reported with an extraperitoneal systematic aortic lymphadenectomy by laparoscopy. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“Delayed Iliac Artery Thrombosis after Blunt Trauma during Operative Laparoscopy.”
Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology 16(1): 102-105.
Major vascular injury during laparoscopic surgery is an uncommon but serious complication. A small number of earlier case reports describe delayed diagnosis of vascular lacerations. Herein we report a unique case of a robot-assisted laparoscopic resection of an obstructed uterine horn, complicated by delayed postoperative presentation of a common iliac artery thrombus without extravascular hemorrhage. The injury was likely caused by blunt trauma to the exterior of the vessel with damage to the vascular intima and subsequent dissection. Meticulous surgical technique, accurate diagnosis, and subsequent treatment are essential to decrease morbidity from such major vascular injuries at the time of laparoscopy. © 2009 AAGL.
“Smaller Pieces of the Hysterectomy Pie: Current Challenges in Resident Surgical Education.”
Obstet Gynecol 113(2, Part 1): 395-398.
Residents in obstetrics and gynecology are increasingly confronted with a wider range of techniques that must be mastered to perform hysterectomy, including abdominal, vaginal, laparoscopic, and robotic approaches. This is accompanied by a decrease in the number of hysterectomies performed annually. Possible solutions to the dilemma created for surgical teaching includes a comprehensive program evaluating surgical competency by establishing numbers needed to achieve competency for specific major procedures.
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 116(2): 198-213.
Over the past decade, there has been an exponential growth of robot-assisted procedures and of publications concerning robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery. From a review of the available literature, it becomes apparent that this technology is safe and allows more complex procedures in many fields of surgery, be it at relatively high costs. Although randomised controlled trials in gynaecology are lacking, available evidence suggests that particularly in gynaecology robotic surgery might not only reduce morbidity but also be cost effective if performed in high-volume centres. Training in robotic surgery and programs for safe and effective implementation are necessary. © 2008 The Authors.
“The current status of robotic pelvic surgery: results of a multinational interdisciplinary consensus conference.”
Surg Endosc 23(2): 438-43.
BACKGROUND: Despite the significant benefits of laparoscopic surgery, limitations still exist. One of these limitations is the loss of several degrees of freedom. Robotic surgery has allowed surgeons to regain the two lost degrees of freedom by introducing wristed laparoscopic instruments. METHODS: At the first Pelvic Surgery Meeting held in Brescia in June 2007, the participants focused on the role of robotic surgery in pelvic operations surgery for malignancy including prostate, rectal, uterine, and cervical carcinoma. All members of the interdisciplinary panel were asked to define the role of robotic surgery in prostate, rectal, and uterine carcinoma. All key statements were reformulated until a consensus within the group was achieved (Murphy et al., Health Technol Assess 2(i-v):1-88, 1998). For the systematic review, a comprehensive literature search was performed in Medline and the Cochrane Library from January 1997 to June 2007. The keywords used were Da Vinci, telemonitoring, laparoscopy, neoplasms for urology, colorectal, gynecology, visceral surgery, and minimally invasive surgery. The pelvic surgery meeting was supported by Olympus Medical Systems Europa. RESULTS: As of December 31, 2007, there were 795 unit shipments worldwide of the Da Vinci((R)): 595 in North America, 136 in Europe, and 64 in the rest of the world (http://investor.intuitivesurgical.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=122359&p=irol-faq#22324 ). It was estimated that, during 2007, approximately 50,000 radical prostatectomies were performed with the Da Vinci robot system in the USA, reflecting market penetration of 60% of radical prostatectomies in the USA. This utilization represents 50% growth as in 2006 only 42% of all radical prostatectomies performed in the USA employed robotics. CONCLUSION: While robotic prostatectomy has become the most widely accepted method of prostatectomy, robotic hysterectomy and proctectomy remain far less widely accepted. The theoretical benefits of the increased degrees of freedom and three-dimensional visualization may be outweighed in these areas by the loss of haptic feedback, increased operative times, and increased cost.
“Robotic-assisted sacrocolpopexy: technique and learning curve.”
Surgical Endoscopy: 1-5.
Background: Laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy (LSCP) offers a minimally invasive approach for treating vaginal vault prolapse. The Da Vinci robotic surgical system may decrease the difficulty of the procedure. The objective of this study was to describe the surgical technique of robotic-assisted sacrocolpopexy (RASCP) and evaluate its feasibility, safety, learning curve, and perioperative complications. Methods: Eighty patients underwent RASCP between November 2004 and June 2007. Robotic dissection of the planes between the bladder and vagina anteriorly and between the vagina and rectum posteriorly was performed. A peritoneal incision was made to expose the sacral promontory and extended down to the vaginal apex. A Y-shaped mesh was sutured to the anterior and posterior surfaces of the vagina. The tail end of the mesh was sutured to the sacral promontory. Intracorporeal knot tying was used in all sutures. The peritoneal incision was closed to cover the mesh using a running suture. Results: Mean operative time was 197.9 [standard deviation (SD) 66.8] min. After completion of the first ten cases, mean operative time decreased by 25.4% [64.3 min, 95% confidence interval (CI) 16.1-112.4 min, p < 0.01]. Two (2.5%) patients had injury to the bladder, one (1.2%) patient had a small bowel injury, and one (1.2%) patient had a ureteric injury. Postoperatively, five (6%) patients developed vaginal mesh erosion, one (1.2%) patient developed a pelvic abscess, and one (1.2%) patient had postoperative ileus. Four (5%) cases were converted to laparotomy. Mean follow-up period was 4.8 months (range 1-24 months). Conclusions: RASCP is a feasible procedure with acceptable complication rates and short learning curve. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
“A comparison of costs for abdominal, laparoscopic, and robot-assisted sacral colpopexy.”
International Urogynecology Journal and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction 20(2): 223-228.
The aim of this study was to compare the short-term estimated hospital costs and charges for open, laparoscopic, and robot-assisted sacral colpopexy. The null hypothesis was that there would be no difference in costs and charges. Fifteen comparable cases were reviewed for demographics, surgical information, and estimated hospital charges and costs and then compared with analysis of variance. There were no differences in demographics and surgical variables among the three groups. For estimated hospital charges, minimally invasive sacral colpopexy was most expensive; open was the least expensive approach. The estimated direct costs were significantly higher for robot-assisted compared with open sacral colpopexy, but not different between robot-assisted and laparoscopic sacral colpopexy. Robot-assisted sacral colpopexy produces the highest estimated hospital charges and is more expensive than open sacral colpopexy. The least expensive surgical approach from the hospital costs perspective is open abdominal sacral colpopexy. © The International Urogynecological Association 2008.