Postoperative Pain and Recovery After Conventional Laparoscopy Compared With Robotically Assisted Laparoscopy

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare postoperative pain after conventional laparoscopic and robotically assisted laparoscopic surgery in gynecology.

METHODS:

This is a prospective nonrandomized analysis of patients undergoing conventional laparoscopy or robotically assisted laparoscopy in a university-affiliated hospital between March 2011 and March 2012. Postoperative pain was measured using the Numeric Rating Scale and the narcotic use converted to morphine sulfate equivalents. The primary outcome was the Numeric Rating Scale pain score obtained on the first postoperative day.

RESULTS:

One hundred ten patients were enrolled; 91 were included in the statistical analysis. Both groups were similar with regard to race, history of abdominopelvic surgeries, psychiatric history, and substance abuse. Patients undergoing robotically assisted laparoscopy were 6 years older and had a body mass index 6 points higher. Median length of hospital stay for conventional laparoscopy and robotically assisted laparoscopy was 2 days and 3 days, respectively (P<.001); median to being off narcotics was 4 days and 4.5 days, respectively (P=.336); and median return to normal activities was 13 days and 21 days, respectively (P=.021). There were no significant differences in mean Numeric Rating Scale pain scores over time (P=.499) or mean narcotic requirements (P=.393) between groups.

CONCLUSION:

Robotically assisted laparoscopy is equivalent to conventional laparoscopy in terms of subjective and objective measures of postoperative pain.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

II

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