By overcoming technical difficulties with limited access faced when performing reduced-port surgery for gastric cancer, reduced-port totally robotic gastrectomy (RPRDG) could be a safe alternative to conventional minimally invasive gastrectomy. An initial 100 consecutive cases of RPRDG for gastric cancer were performed from February 2016 to September 2018. Short-term outcomes for RPRDG with those for 261 conventional laparoscopic (CLDG) and for 241 robotic procedures (CRDG) over the same period were compared. Learning curve analysis for RPRDG was conducted to determine whether this procedure could be readily performed despite fewer access. During the first 100 cases of RPRDG, no surgeries were converted to open or laparoscopic surgery, and no additional ports were required. RPRDG showed longer operation time than CLDG (188.4 min vs. 166.2 min, p < 0.001) and similar operation time with CRDG (183.1 min, p = 0.315). The blood loss was 35.4 ml for RPRDG, 85.2 ml for CLDG (p < 0.001), and 41.2 ml for CRDG (p = 0.33). The numbers of retrieved lymph nodes were 50.5 for RPRDG, 43.9 for CLDG (p = 0.003), and 55.0 for CRDG (p = 0.055). Postoperative maximum C-reactive protein levels were 96.8 mg/L for RPRDG, 87.8 mg/L for CLDG (p = 0.454), and 81.9 mg/L for CRDG (p = 0.027). Learning curve analysis indicated that the overall operation time of RPRDG stabilized at 180 min after 21 cases. The incidence of major postoperative complications did not differ among groups. RPRDG for gastric cancer is a feasible and safe alternative to conventional minimally invasive surgery. Notwithstanding, this procedure failed to reduce postoperative inflammatory responses.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Dr. Seo, Dr. Son, Ms. Shin, Dr. Choi, Dr. Roh, Dr. Cho, Dr. Kim has no competing interests. Dr. Hyung received research grant from Medtronic and GC Pharma, and this funding source had no role in the design of this study and will not have any role during its execution, analyses, interpretation of the data, or decision to submit results. This study was supported by a faculty research grant from Yonsei University College of Medicine (6–2019-0053), and the funding source had no involvement in the study design.
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