Robotic surgery: Review of the latest advances, risks, and outcomes

Mary Downes Gastrich, Joseph Barone, Gloria Bachmann, Mark Anderson, Adrian Balica

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Using differing levels of evidence, we developed criteria to critically review 21 scientifically peer-reviewed articles on robot-assisted surgeries in various medical fields. The advantages and limitations of robotic systems are discussed and compared with traditional surgical methods. Since training in the use of robotic skills is essential, various training models are discussed to teach the complex skills necessary for robotic surgery. There is a paucity of control studies on a sufficient number of subjects in robot-assisted surgeries in all fields. Studies that meet more stringent clinical trials criteria show that robot-assisted surgery appears comparable to traditional surgery in terms of feasibility and outcomes but that costs associated with robot-assisted surgery are higher because of longer operating times and expense of equipment. While a limited number of studies on the da Vinci robotic system have proven the benefit of this approach in regard to patient outcomes, including significantly reduced blood loss, lower percentage of postoperative complications, and shorter hospital stays, there are mechanical and institutional risks that must be more fully addressed. In addition, trials are needed to identify simulators for learners that can enhance the da Vinci performance in order to shorten the learning curve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-97
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Robotic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Health Informatics


  • Benefits
  • Risks
  • Robotic-assisted surgery
  • da Vinci


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