Feasibility and Learning Curve of Robotic Laparoendoscopic Single-Site Surgery in Gynecology

Alexandre Buckley De Meritens, Julia Kim, Helen Dinkelspiel, Eloise Chapman-Davis, Thomas Caputo, Kevin M. Holcomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Single-site laparoscopy has proven to be a desirable option for patients undergoing gynecologic surgery, with some studies indicating improved cosmesis and less perioperative pain compared with standard approaches. This study describes the safety and feasibility of a novel robotic laparoendoscopic single-site surgery (R-LESS) platform as it is incorporated into a surgeon's practice with extensive multiport robotic surgical experience but limited LESS experience. We reviewed 83 women undergoing R-LESS by a single surgeon from September 2013 through August 2015. Operative times (total operative time, console time, docking time) were collected prospectively for the first 53 cases, and total operative time was collected retrospectively for the next 30 cases. Clinical parameters, including age, estimated blood loss, body mass index (BMI), prior abdominal surgeries, conversion to laparotomy, procedure type, uterine weight, length of hospital stay, and complications, were retrospectively collected from medical charts. Eighty-two of 83 surgeries were completed successfully with a single incision. One surgery was converted to multiport robotics for para-aortic lymph node dissection. Twelve surgeries were performed for cancer (ovary 1, uterus 8, and cervix 3). Eight patients underwent pelvic lymph node biopsy. The median total operative time for hysterectomies was 128 minutes (range, 60–275). After the first 13 hysterectomies the total operative time and the console time decreased significantly from 165.3 to 131.1 minutes (p = .032) and from 84.9 to 57.1 minutes (p = .028), respectively. Mean docking time halved from 7.8 minutes to 3.4 minutes comparing the first 10 cases to the last 10 cases. Surgical times were longer with larger BMIs, but the console time decreased with experience regardless of BMI. The mean uterine weight was 164 g (range, 30–460). Complications included 2 umbilical hernias (2.4%) and 1 conversion to multiport. In conclusion, R-LESS is a feasible and safe surgical platform for gynecologic procedures. A small number of cases are needed to significantly improve operative times when it is introduced on a surgeon's practice with limited experience in LESS but familiar with robotic surgery. Further study is needed to investigate the cost, benefits, and long-term outcomes of R-LESS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-328
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


  • Gynecology
  • Robotic
  • Single-site laparoendoscopy

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