Robotic Approach Falls Short For Gastric Sleeve

Robotic Surgery

According to Dr. Davtyan and The Weight Loss Surgery Center of Los Angeles, a recent study reviewed 86,953 surgical cases of Sleeve Gastrectomy, commonly referred to as Gastric Sleeve, performed either laparoscopically or by robotic surgery for weight loss. The study showed that gastric sleeve surgeries performed by laparoscopy had better outcomes and were safer than robotic gastric sleeve surgeries. This study was done in 2015 and used the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgical Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program database (MBSAQIP). Overall, the gastric sleeve is more commonly performed than gastric bypass.

Gastric Robot Surgery

Gastric Sleeve

The outcomes that were measured included operating time, number of leaks, and the occurrence of wound infections. People who underwent robotic gastric sleeve surgery were 3.4 times more likely to experience a leak of the stomach contents which occurred in 1.5% of the cases compared to only 0.5% in gastric sleeve surgeries performed laparoscopically.

Operating times were on average 30 minutes longer (101 minutes versus 74 minutes) in the robotic group, which can increase the risk of blood clots, respiratory problems, and possible delayed healing. Longer anesthesia times increase the total amount of drugs needed to keep you asleep which makes nausea and vomiting more common; both of which can put strain on the incisions, possibly causing them to separate.

Longer operating times may increase the number of infections and this was demonstrated in the robotic group gastric sleeves, which had 38% more infections than the laparoscopic gastric sleeve group. Any time an incision is infected, it puts the internal organs at risk for a similar infection.

The conclusions of this study were similar to previous studies and showed that robotic surgery has higher cost, higher rate of complications, & longer durations of surgery than laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. Laparoscopic gastric sleeve remains a safe and effective option in weight loss surgery. To learn more, contact us at our website, our email at, and/or call us at 1-877-9BESLIM (923-7546).

Posted on behalf of Dr. David G. Davtyan MD, FACS, FICS

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