Robotic Versus Laparoscopic Gastrectomy for Locally Advanced Gastric Cancer
Robotic gastrectomy (RG) has progressed rapidly in the last decade, overcoming many obstacles in laparoscopic technology. We compared surgical performance and short-term clinical outcomes between RG and laparoscopic gastrectomy (LG). In total, 163 patients with gastric cancer were randomly treated with RG (n=102) or LG (n=61). D2 lymphadenectomy was achieved in all patients. Digestive tract reconstruction in the RG group was performed by intracorporeal hand sewing, but extracorporeal anastomosis in the LG group was performed with a 25-mm circular stapler or linear stapler. Compared with the LG group, the RG group had less intraoperative blood loss (P=0.005) and more lymph nodes retrieved (P=0.000). Postoperative complications between the 2 groups were not significantly different during the 11-month follow-up (P=0.063). Compared with LG, RG is a feasible and safe approach with minimally invasive, satisfactory intracorporeal digestive tract reconstruction, and fast recovery. Multicenter randomized controlled studies of larger numbers of patients are needed.