Robotic gastrectomy for gastric cancer
The number of robotic gastrectomy (RG) performed per year has been increasing, particularly in East Asia where the incidence of gastric cancer is high and approximately half of the cases are diagnosed as early gastric cancer. With articulated devices of RG, surgeons are able to perform every procedure more meticulously, which can result in less bleeding and damage to organs. There are many single arm and comparative studies, and these study showed similar trends, which included relatively less estimated blood loss and longer operation time following RG than laparoscopic gastrectomy (LG), equivalent number of harvested lymph nodes and similar length of postoperative hospital stay between RG and LG. Considering the results of these retrospective comparative studies, RG seems to be as feasible as LG in terms of early surgical outcomes. However, medical expense of RG is approximately twice as much as that of LG. Lack of solid evidence in terms of long-term outcomes is another problem. Considering the higher medical expenses associated with RG, its superiority in terms of long-term survival outcomes needs to be confirmed in the future for it to be accepted more widely.