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Comparative analysis of perioperative outcomes of robotic versus open transversus abdominis release



Transversus abdominis release (TAR) has evolved as an effective approach to complex abdominal wall reconstructions. Although the role of robotics in hernia surgery is rapidly expanding, the benefits of a robotic approach for abdominal wall reconstruction have not been established well. We aimed to compare the impact of the application of robotics to the TAR procedure on the perioperative outcomes when compared to the open TAR repairs.


Case-matched comparison of patients undergoing robotic TAR (R-TAR) at two specialized hernia centers to a matched historic cohort of open TAR (O-TAR) patients was performed. Outcome measures included patient demographics, operative details, postoperative complications, and length of hospitalization.


38 consecutive patients undergoing R-TAR were compared to 76 matched O-TAR. Patient demographics were similar between the groups, but ASA III status was more prevalent in the O-TAR group. The average operative time was significantly longer in the R-TAR group (299 ± 95 vs.. 211 ± 63 min, p < 0.001) and blood loss was significantly lower for the R-TAR group (49 ± 60 vs. 139 ± 149 mL, p < 0.001). Wound morbidity was minimal in the R-TAR, but the rate of surgical site events and surgical site infection was not different between groups. Systemic complications were significantly less frequent in the R-TAR group (0 vs. 17.1%, p = 0.026). The length of hospitalization was significantly reduced in the R-TAR group (1.3 ± 1.3 vs. 6.0 ± 3.4 days, p < 0.001).


In our early experience, robotic TAR was associated with longer operative times. However, we found that the use of robotics was associated with decreased intraoperative blood loss, fewer systemic complications, shorter hospitalizations, and eliminated readmissions. While long-term outcomes and patient selection criteria for robotic TAR repair are under investigations, we advocate selective use of robotics for TAR reconstructions in patients undergoing AWR.

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Author information

Correspondence to Yuri W. Novitsky.

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IB is a consultant for Intuitive Surgical Inc., Bard, Lifecell, Cook Surgical and Covidien. YWN is a consultant for Intuitive Surgical Inc., Bard and Cooper Surgical. Luis A. Martin-del-Campo and Adam S. Weltz has no conflict of interest or financial ties to disclose.

Additional information

Presented at the SAGES 2017 Annual Meeting, March 22-25, 2017, Houston, Texas.

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Martin-del-Campo, L.A., Weltz, A.S., Belyansky, I. et al. Comparative analysis of perioperative outcomes of robotic versus open transversus abdominis release. Surg Endosc 32, 840–845 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-017-5752-1

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  • Abdominal wall reconstruction
  • Robotic surgery
  • Transversus abdomins release (TAR)
  • Robotic hernia repair