BACKGROUND: Surgeons have successfully combined various laparoscopic procedures with increasing technical ease. However, few reports exist regarding the feasibility of combined robotic operations. We present our institution's successful concomitant robotic surgery for early gastric cancer and coexisting gallbladder disease.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: From our prospectively collected database, seven patients who received robotic cholecystectomies during their robotic gastric cancer operations were retrospectively compared to 247 patients who underwent robotic gastrectomies alone. Preoperative patient characteristics, operative factors, postoperative length of stay, and complications were evaluated.
RESULTS: The preoperative patient characteristics and operative factors did not differ between the two groups. All robotic cholecystectomies were performed with the same ports and instruments used during robotic gastrectomies without open conversion, robot redocking or patient repositioning. Mean time to perform robotic cholecystectomies was 15.1 + 3.2 minutes. The combined group had no mortality, one wound infection, and one intraabdominal fluid collection at the gastric resection bed, which were comparable to the gastrectomy alone group. The mean postoperative length of hospital stay was unaltered by the addition of the cholecystectomy.
CONCLUSIONS: Robotic cholecystectomies can safely and efficiently be combined with robotic gastric cancer surgery, yielding several benefits. Improving robotic technology and experience may allow surgeons to efficiently combine more complicated procedures.