Robotic pancreas transplantation: the state of the art

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Robotic pancreas transplantation is a novel procedure that aims to reduce surgical invasiveness, and thereby limit complications related to the surgical access. Given that few centers are providing robotic transplantation, this review serves as a state of the science article to outline early experiences and highlight areas for future research.

Recent findings

Pancreas transplantation results in relatively high rates of wound and other surgical complications that are known to deleteriously impact outcomes. The minimally invasive, robotic-assisted approach decreases wound complications. Because of the obesity epidemic, overweight and obese status is encountered in an increasing number of transplant candidates. These candidates are subject to increased wound-related complications and most benefit from a robotic approach. The first clinical reports on laparoscopic, robotic-assisted kidney and pancreas transplantation indicate a significant decrease in wound complications and excellent outcomes in obese patients otherwise denied access to transplantation.

Summary

With excellent results achieved in surgically challenging patients and further accumulation of experience, laparoscopic, robotic-assisted pancreas and kidney transplantation may evolve to a new standard approach.

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