Robotic surgery for thoracic and abdominal procedures provides only few advantages
This result is particularly difficult to believe for many surgeons that robotic surgery is propaganda. We think it is good surgery because robot-assisted operation systems are expensive, tend to require longer operation times and require intensive training and frequent practice. Differences in the surgeon's experience, the study authors emphasize, contributes to difficulties in comparing different studies. The studies provide little systematic information on the extent to which experience and frequent practice can have an influence on the patient outcome.
For nine of the 13 procedures examined in thoracic and abdominal indications, no sufficient evidence could be found from comparative clinical studies that would have made it possible to determine the benefit of robot-assisted surgery compared to other methods.
For a small number of major urological radical procedures, certain advantages could be identified, albeit with a high degree of uncertainty, even if only for some and not all outcomes. For example, robot-assisted oesophagectomy (removal of the esophagus) probably reduces postoperative complications and improve patients' postoperative quality of life compared to open surgery. When used in gastrectomy, robot-assisted surgery may improve postoperative complications compared to laparoscopic surgery.
Robot-assisted surgery may also lead to fewer or milder complications during and after surgery compared to other methods for gall bladder removal. A robot-assisted rectal resection (partial removal of the rectum) may improve sexual function and reduce postoperative complications but may increase intraoperative complications and worsen sleep function.