The recent introduction of an intraoperative near infrared fluorescence (INIF) imaging system installed on the da Vinci Si® robotic system has enabled surgeons to identify intravascular NIF signals in real time. This technology is useful in identifying hidden vessels and assessing blood supply to bowel segments. In this study, we report 3 cases of patients with rectal cancer who underwent robotic low anterior resection (LAR) with INIF imaging for the first time in Asia. In September 2012, robotic- assisted rectal resection with INIF imaging was performed on three consecutive rectal cancer patients. LAR was performed in 2 cases, and abdominoperineal resection was performed in the third case. INIF imaging was used to identify the left colic branch of the inferior mesenteric artery and to assess blood supply to the distal rectum. We evaluated the utility of INIF imaging in performing robotic-assisted colorectal procedures. Our preliminary results suggest that this technique is safe and effective, and that INIF imaging may be a useful tool to colorectal surgeons.
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