'Money for nothing'. The role of robotic assisted laparoscopy for the treatment of endometriosis

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Despite higher costs for robotic assisted laparoscopy (RAL) than standard laparoscopy (SL), RAL treatment of endometriosis is performed without established indications. PubMed/MEDLINE was searched for 'robotic surgery' and 'endometriosis' or 'gynaecological benign disease' from January 2000 to December 2016. Full-length studies in English reporting original data were considered. Among 178 articles retrieved, 17 were eligible: 11 non-comparative (RAL only) and six comparative (RAL versus SL). Non-comparative studies included 445 patients. Mean operating time, blood loss and hospital stay were 226 min, 168 ml and 4 days. Major complications and laparotomy conversions were 3.1% and 1.3%. Eight studies reported pain improvement at 15-month follow-up. Comparative studies were all retrospective; 749 women underwent RAL and 705 SL. Operating time was longer for RAL in five studies. Major complications and laparotomy conversions for RAL and SL were 1.5% versus 0.3% and 0.3% versus 0.5%. One study reported pain reduction for RAL at 6-month follow-up. RAL treatment of endometriosis did not provide benefits over SL, overall and among subgroups of women with severe endometriosis, peritoneal endometriosis and obesity. Available evidence is low-quality, and data regarding long-term pain relief and pregnancy rates are lacking. RAL treatment of endometriosis should be performed only within controlled studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-444
JournalReproductive BioMedicine Online
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Endometriosis treatment
  • Endometriosis-related costs
  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Robotic assisted laparoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Developmental Biology


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