The use of robotic assistance facilitates minimally invasive surgery and has been widely adopted across multiple specialties. This article reviews the published literature on use of this technology for treatment of oncologic conditions. PubMed searches were performed for articles published between 2000 and 2012 using the keywords "robotic" or "robotic surgery" in conjunction with "oncology" or "cancer." Although the most common use for robotics was to treat urologic oncologic conditions, it has also been widely adopted for gynecologic, general, thoracic, and head and neck surgeries. For several procedures, there is evidence that robotics offers short-term benefits such as shorter lengths of stay and lower intraoperative blood loss, with safety profiles and oncologic outcomes comparable to open or conventional laparoscopic approaches. However, long-term oncologic outcomes are generally lacking, and robotic surgeries are more costly than open or laparoscopic surgeries. Robotic technology is widely used in oncologic surgery with demonstrated short-term advantages. However, whether the benefits of robotics justify the higher costs warrant large comparative effectiveness studies with long-term outcomes.
Source: The current status of robotic oncologic surgery. Yu HY, Friedlander DF, Patel S, Hu JC (firstname.lastname@example.org) . CA Cancer J Clin. 2012 Nov 14.
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