Technology is evolving constantly today, and among the plethora of innovations, the one with the most potential to look forward to, in surgery, is the introduction and evolution of Robotics. Demand, as well as a pursuit of minimally invasive surgery, has increased exponentially particularly in the last decade, with Robotics being at the leading edge of this evolution. It has shown a potential to provide outcomes that were comparable to those achieved with the laparoscopic approach, with some evidence suggesting even better outcomes than laparoscopy in high-risk groups such as patients with obesity, those treated by extended procedures, and male patients. Despite all its benefits, there is still no sturdy evidence established yet about the overall superiority of robotic surgery over the laparoscopic approach. This lack of concrete evidence warranted the need for a meta-analysis that would help reveal any significant differences between the two approaches (robotics vs laparoscopic). Our study aimed to understand and establish the differences between the two approaches of rectal cancer resections, as well as to ascertain the positive efficacy and benefits of robotic surgery, if any, over the conventional laparoscopic approach. The results of this study found that the rates of sphincter preservation, intersphincteric resection (ISR), and conversion were lower with the robotic total mesorectal excision (TME) compared to laparoscopic TMEs, while no significant difference was found in the rate of major (grade ≥III) complications between the two groups.
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Mayo Clinic. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/robotic-surgery/about/pac-20394974. Accessed on: February 2021.
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