Limited Evidence for Robot-assisted Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials


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Abstract

Purpose:To evaluate available evidence on robot-assisted surgery compared with open and laparoscopic surgery.Method:The databases Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Library were systematically searched for randomized controlled trials comparing robot-assisted surgery with open and laparoscopic surgery regardless of surgical procedure. Meta-analyses were performed on each outcome with appropriate data material available. Cochrane Collaboration’s tool for assessing risk of bias was used to evaluate risk of bias on a study level. The GRADE approach was used to evaluate the quality of evidence of the meta-analyses.Results:This review included 20 studies comprising 981 patients. The meta-analyses found no significant differences between robot-assisted and laparoscopic surgery regarding blood loss, complication rates, and hospital stay. A significantly longer operative time was found for robot-assisted surgery. Open versus robot-assisted surgery was investigated in 3 studies. A lower blood loss and a longer operative time were found after robot-assisted surgery. No other difference was detected.Conclusions:At this point there is not enough evidence to support the significantly higher costs with the implementation of robot-assisted surgery.

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