Ann Coloproctol.  2020 Oct;36(5):293-303. 10.3393/ac.2020.06.16.

Robotic Total Mesorectal Excision for Rectal Cancer: Current Evidences and Future Perspectives

  • 1Department of Surgery, Eulji University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea


Despite the technical limitations of minimally invasive surgery, laparoscopic total mesorectal excision (LTME) for rectal cancer has short-term advantages over open surgery, but the pathological outcomes reported in randomized clinical trials are still in controversy. Minimally invasive robotic total mesorectal excision (RTME) has recently been gaining popularity as robotic surgical systems potentially provide greater benefits than LTME. Compared to LTME, RTME is associated with lower conversion rates and similar or better genitourinary functions, but its long-term oncological outcomes have not been established. Although the operating time of RTME is longer than that of LTME, RTME has a shorter learning curve, is more convenient for surgeons, and is better for sphincter-preserving operations than LTME. The robotic surgical system is a good technical tool for minimally invasive surgery for rectal cancer, especially in male patients with narrow deep pelvises. Robotic systems and robotic surgical techniques are still improving, and the contribution of RTME to the treatment of rectal cancer will continue to increase in the future.


Rectal neoplasms; Total mesorectal excision; Robotic surgical procedures
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