Robotic assisted surgery in gynecologic oncology
A review of the role of robotic surgery in the management of various gynecologic malignancies, with an emphasis on novel robotic innovations, special patient populations, cost effectiveness, and fellowship training.
Abdulrahman K. Sinno, M.D. Amanda N. Fader, M.D.
Volume 102, Issue 4, Pages 922-932
The quest for improved patient outcomes has been a driving force for adoption of novel surgical innovations across surgical subspecialties. Gynecologic oncology is one such surgical discipline in which minimally invasive surgery has had a robust and evolving role in defining standards of care. Robotic-assisted surgery has developed during the past two decades as a more technologically advanced form of minimally invasive surgery in an effort to mitigate the limitations of conventional laparoscopy and improved patient outcomes. Robotically assisted technology offers potential advantages that include improved three-dimensional stereoscopic vision, wristed instruments that improve surgeon dexterity, and tremor canceling software that improves surgical precision. These technological advances may allow the gynecologic oncology surgeon to perform increasingly radical oncologic surgeries in complex patients. However, the platform is not without limitations, including high cost, lack of haptic feedback, and the requirement for additional training to achieve competence. This review describes the role of robotic-assisted surgery in the management of endometrial, cervical, and ovarian cancer, with an emphasis on comparison with laparotomy and conventional laparoscopy. The literature on novel robotic innovations, special patient populations, cost effectiveness, and fellowship training is also appraised critically in this regard.