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Invited Critique
Sep 2011

Robotic Gastrectomy Is Safe and Feasible, but Real Benefits Remain Elusive: Comment on “Robotic Gastrectomy as an Oncologically Sound Alternative to Laparoscopic Resections for the Treatment of Early-Stage Gastric Cancers”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: IRCAD/EITS University Hospital of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France.

Arch Surg. 2011;146(9):1092. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2011.198

The study by Woo et al,1 while not randomized, provides a large cohort of robotic gastric dissections and lymphadenectomies (D1 and D2) for stage Ia and Ib gastric cancer. They have shown the ability to safely attain equivalent oncologic margins and lymph node harvest when compared with laparoscopic cases. While promising, the study lacks long-term outcomes to prove oncologic equivalency. Reconstructions were not performed robotically, limiting the scope of additional outcome comparisons such as leak. Overall morbidity and mortality appear similar, but it would be interesting to know if they experienced any robotic-specific complications such as iatrogenic injury out of the field of view.