Background: Robotic surgery has been widely adopted for complex procedures to overcome technical limitations of open or laparoscopic methods. However, evidence of any subsequent benefit is lacking. This study was undertaken to compare open, laparoscopic, and robotic gastrectomy in technically demanding procedure—D2 dissection in obese patients with gastric cancer. Methods: Data collected between 2010 and 2018 on D2 gastrectomy in obese patients with gastric cancer were used to conduct retrospective analysis, comparing short- and long-term outcomes of open, laparoscopic, and robotic techniques. Results: In a total of 185 patients, there were 69 open, 62 laparoscopic, and 54 robotic gastrectomy procedures. Median ages for respective surgical groups were 66 (interquartile range [IQR]: 61–64 years), 63 (IQR: 59–63), and 59 years (IQR: 56–60 years) (p = 0.009). Early-stage gastric cancer ranked proportionately higher in the laparoscopic group (p = 0.005), but operative times were similar among groups. Estimated blood loss (p < 0.001) and drainage volumes (p = 0.001) were higher in the open group, relative to others. Although a robotic approach performed best in overall compliance and in mean number of retrieved lymph node, observed rates of early or late complications did not differ by technique. The open group experienced significantly poorer overall (p = 0.039) and relapse-free (p < 0.001) survival compared with the laparoscopic or robotic group. Robotic surgery emerged from multivariable Cox regression as a protective factor for relapse-free survival (HR = 0.314, 95% CI 0.116–0.851). Conclusions: In obese patients with gastric cancer, robotic gastrectomy with D2 lymphadenectomy proved comparable to open or laparoscopic technique short-term, yielding better long-term outcomes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Drs. Seohee Choi, Jeong Ho Song, Sejin Lee, Minah Cho, Yoo Min Kim, Hyoung-Il Kim have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose. Dr. Woo Jin Hyung received research grants from Medtronic and GC Pharma. These funding sources did not influence our study design and played no part in its execution, analytics, and data interpretation or in our decision to submit results.
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2019R1H1A2079953).
© 2021, Society of Surgical Oncology.
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