Transchiatal esophagectomy procedures utilizing robotic platforms are “effective and safe” for carefully selected patients, according to a new study from Allina Health hospitals.
The robotic technology platforms can provide operating surgeons with better views during surgery and allow lymph nodes to be removed without additional incisions, according to the study.
Results from the study, which it touts to be the largest of it’s kind, were published in the journal Diseases of the Esophagus.
Data from the 100-patient study indicated that robotic-assisted transhiatal esophagectomy procedures were effective and safe with acceptable operative times, minimal blood loss, standard postoperative morbidity and adequate progression free and overall survival profiles.
Median operative time was 264 minutes, while median estimated blood loss was recorded at 75 mL. The median intensive care stay for patients undergoing RATE procedures was 1 day, with a medial hospital stay of 8 days. The most common postoperative complications were nonmalignant pleural effusion at 38% and recurrent laryngeal nerve injury at 33%. Thirty-day mortality in the trial was 2%.
The median number of lymph nodes removed was 17, with R0 resection being achieved in 97.8% of patients. At the end of the median follow-up period of 27.7 months, median PFS was 41 months, while median OS was 54 months, according to the study. One-year and 3-year PFS rates were 82% and 53% respectively.
“Very few centers have adopted robots for this procedure because of the technical difficulties and unique skills that are needed by the surgeons and the operating room staff. But the robotic arms can turn and twist and reach more places than human hands will ever be able to,” former Allina surgeon and study principal investigator Dr. Daniel Dunn said in a press release.