Challenges with robotic low anterior resection

G. Formisano, A. Marano, P. P. Bianchi, G. Spinoglio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dramatic improvements in the local recurrence rate of patients with rectal cancer have been observed after the introduction of the embriologically-based concept of total mesorectal excision by Heald more than 30 years ago. During the last decades, advances in multimodal treatment have further contributed to improve outcomes, but surgery still play a major role. Laparoscopic surgery for rectal cancer has been validated in randomized controlled trials to be oncologically as safe and effective as the open approach with better short-term postoperative outcomes. Nevertheless, laparoscopic low anterior resection continues to be challenging because of technical constraints and a steep learning curve. Robotic surgery may potentially offer significant advantages in rectal cancer surgery thanks to its technological features. This paper summarizes the current available evidence and highlights the most challenging aspects of robotic low anterior resection, with supporting data from the literature and from the authors' nearly ten-year experience in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-354
Number of pages14
JournalMinerva Chirurgica
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Minimally invasive
  • Rectal neoplasms
  • Robotic surgical procedures
  • Surgical procedures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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