Nationwide Trends in Robotic General Surgery

John N Afthinos, MD, Roman Grinberg, MD, Karen E Gibbs, MD. Staten Island University Hospital

Introduction: Robotic assisted general surgery is gaining significant popularity among clinicians and patients. There have been multiple single-surgeon and single-institution studies demonstrating its safety and efficacy as a minimally invasive option. We sought to evaluate trends in robotic assisted general surgery using a large national database.

Methods: The National Inpatient Sample database was queried for all adult, elective abdominal surgeries from 2005 to 2011. We evaluated the most common robotic assisted procedures. Patients undergoing elective robotic assisted procedures were evaluated for age, gender, comorbid conditions and post-operative morbidity and mortality.

Results: During the study period 3,656,117 abdominal cases were identified, of which 35,212 were robotic assisted (1%). The year 2011 accounted for 42% (14,817) of all robotic assisted surgeries. The average age of the study group was 51.5 + 13.7 years and 48% were women.  Overall post-operative morbidity was 7% and mortality 0.4%. 

Table 1. The five most common robotic assisted procedure categories.

Conclusion: Robotic assisted general surgery procedures continue to experience growth. Immediate post-operative outcomes appear to be in line with expected norms. Abdominal wall hernia repairs are the most common robotic assisted general surgery procedures.

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