Robot-assisted gastrectomy has been reported to be a safe alternative to both conventional laparoscopy and the open approach for treating early gastric carcinoma. Currently, there are a limited number of published reports on this technique in the literature. We assessed the current status of robotic and laparoscopic surgery in the treatment of gastric cancer and compared the operative outcomes, learning curves, and oncological outcome of the two approaches. Robotic gastrectomy offers benefits that include increased ease of performing D2 lymph node dissection and reduced blood loss compared with laparoscopic gastrectomy. However, the operative time is longer, and robotic gastrectomy is more costly for the patients. Regarding to the operative and oncological outcomes, there appears to be no significant differences between laparoscopic and robotic gastrectomies after the surgeon overcomes the associated learning curves. Sharing the available knowledge regarding laparoscopic and robotic gastrectomies could shorten these learning curves. For elder patients, minimally invasive surgery that decreases the postoperative recovery time should be considered the preferred treatment. Prospective randomized studies are required to compare the surgical and oncological outcomes among laparoscopic, robotic, and open surgeries for both early and advanced gastric cancer.
- Gastric cancer
- Lymph node dissection