Laparoscopic versus robotic rectal resection for rectal cancer in a veteran population

Ramiro Fernandez, Daniel A. Anaya, Linda T. Li, Sonia T. Orcutt, Courtney J. Balentine, Samir A. Awad, David H. Berger, Daniel Albo, Avo Artinyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background Robotic rectal cancer resection remains controversial. We compared the safety and efficacy of laparoscopic vs robotic rectal cancer resection in a high-risk Veterans Health Administration population. Methods Patients who underwent minimally invasive rectal cancer resection were identified from an institutional colorectal cancer database. Baseline characteristics and outcomes were compared between robotic and laparoscopic groups. Results The robotic group (n = 13) did not differ significantly from the laparoscopic group (n = 59) with respect to baseline characteristics except for a higher rate of previous abdominal surgery. Robotic patients had significantly lower tumors, more advanced disease, a higher rate of preoperative chemoradiation, and were more likely to undergo abdominoperineal resection. Robotic rectal resection was associated with longer operative time. There were no differences in blood loss, conversion rates, postoperative morbidity, lymph nodes harvested, margin positivity, or specimen quality between groups. Conclusions The robotic approach for rectal cancer resection is safe with similar postoperative and oncologic outcomes compared with laparoscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-517
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Rectal cancer
  • Rectal resection
  • Robotic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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