Systematic review of the feasibility and future of laparoscopic liver resection for difficult lesions
BACKGROUND Robot-assisted laparoscopy has been introduced to overcome the limitations of conventional laparoscopy. This technique has potential advantages over laparoscopy, such as increased dexterity, three-dimensional view, and a magnified view of the operative field. Therefore, improved dexterity may make a robotic system particularly suited for liver resections, which require nonlinear manipulation, such as curved parenchymal transection, hilar dissection, and resection of posterosuperior segments. METHODS Between August 2014 and March 2016, 16 patients underwent robot-assisted laparoscopic liver resection at University Medical Center Utrecht. RESULTS Fifteen robot-assisted laparoscopic liver resections were performed in a minimally invasive manner. One procedure was converted. In eight patients, we performed a resection of a posterosuperior segment (segment 7 or 8). Median operating time was 146 (60-265) min, and median blood loss was 150 (5-600) mL. Four patients had a Clavien-Dindo grade III complication. Median length of stay was 4 (1-8) days. There was no mortality. CONCLUSIONS This prospective study reporting on our initial experience with robot-assisted laparoscopic liver resection demonstrates that this technique is easily adopted, safe, and feasible for minor hepatectomies in selected patients. Moreover, it shows that the robotic platform also enables fully laparoscopic resections of the posterior segments.