Objective The objective of this study was to demonstrate that robotically assisted laparoscopy for aortic lymph node dissection was improved when double docking (DD) of the Da Vinci system is used for combined surgical procedures [defined by the combination of a pelvic procedure and a para-aortic lymphadenectomy (PAL)].
Methods From February 2007 to February 2013, 41 patients underwent combined procedures including PAL up to the left renal vein in 2 cancer centers. We used 2 different approaches as follows: a single docking (SD) of the Da Vinci system (transperitoneal PAL and pelvic surgery) during the first period (22 patients) and a DD during the second period (19 patients). We recorded retrospectively the lymph node count (main criteria), operative time, estimated blood loss, hospital stay, and postoperative complications.
Results We observed a statistical difference between SD and DD concerning aortic lymph node count (5.86 vs 10.89, P < 0.005). Operative time is longer in the DD group (326.1 vs 239.4 minutes, P < 0.05). No difference was observed concerning estimated blood loss. Hospital stay was longer in the DD group (4.9 vs 3.2 days, P < 0.05). Only 1 conversion to open was described in the SD group.
Conclusions In our experience of robotically assisted laparoscopy, when PAL is combined to a pelvic procedure, the use of a DD seems to improve aortic lymph node count.
Despite a longer operative time compared to SD, DD seems to be a good solution to combine the advantages of robotic assistance to our quality criteria of aortic dissection.
Synopsis We compare 2 techniques to realize robotic assisted para-aortic lymphadenectomy combined with pelvic procedure. Double docking seems to improve histological results compared to single docking.
- Robotic surgery
- Para-aortic lymphadenectomy
- Cervical cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Minimal invasive surgery
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G. Houvenaeghel and E. Lambaudie are proctors for Intuitive. The other authors declare no conflicts of interest.