Robotic-assisted colorectal surgery in obese patients: a case-matched series

Jeffrey N. Harr, Samuel Luka, Aman Kankaria, Yen Yi Juo, Samir Agarwal, Vincent Obias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Reports demonstrate laparoscopic colorectal surgery in obese patients is associated with higher conversion to laparotomy and complication rates. While several advantages of robotic-assisted surgery have been reported, outcomes in obese patients have not been adequately studied. Therefore, this study compares outcomes of robotic-assisted surgery in non-obese and obese patients. Methods: A retrospective review of 331 consecutive robotic procedures performed at a single institution between 2009 and 2015 was performed. Patients were divided into non-obese (BMI <30 kg/m2) and obese (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) groups, and were clinically matched by gender, age, and procedure performed. Intraoperative and postoperative complications, operative time, estimated blood loss, and length of stay were examined. Results: Following matching, each group included 108 patients comprised of 50 men and 58 women. Mean BMI was 24.6 ± 3.15 and 36.2 ± 5.67 kg/m2 (p < 0.0001), and the mean age was 59.2 ± 11.28 years for non-obese patients and 57.1 ± 12.44 for obese patients (p = 0.18). Surgeries included low anterior resection, right colectomy, left colectomy, sigmoid colectomy, excision of rectal endometriosis, total proctocolectomy, APR, subtotal colectomy, ileocecectomy, proctectomy, rectopexy, transanal excision of rectal mass, and colostomy site hernia repair. The mean operative time was 272.69 ± 115.43 and 282.42 ± 120.51 min (p = 0.55), estimated blood loss 195.23 ± 230.37 and 289.19 ± 509.27 mL (p = 0.08), conversion to laparotomy 6.48 and 9.26 % (p = 0.45), and length of stay 5.38 ± 4.94 and 4.56 ± 4.04 days (p = 0.18) for the non-obese and obese groups, respectively. Twenty of the non-obese patients had postoperative complications as compared to 27 of the obese patients (p = 0.30). However, the prevalence of wound complications was higher in obese patients (1.9 vs 9.3 %; p = 0.03). Conclusion: There is no difference in conversion to laparotomy and overall complication rates in non-obese and obese patients undergoing robotic-assisted colorectal surgery. However, obesity is associated with a higher prevalence of wound complications. Robotic-assisted surgery may minimize conversion to laparotomy and complications typically seen in obese patients due to improved visualization, instrumentation, and ergonomics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2813-2819
Number of pages7
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Body mass index
  • Laparotomy conversion rate
  • Obesity
  • Robotic colorectal surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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