Reducing the cost of robotic hysterectomy: assessing the safety and efficacy of using prograsp forceps in lieu of needle holder for vaginal cuff closure


Robotic-assisted surgery is criticized for its high cost. As surgeons get more experienced in robotic surgery, modifications to existing techniques are tried to reduce surgical costs. Vaginal cuff closure using prograsp forceps in lieu of needle holder can be safe and cost-effective in patients undergoing robotic-assisted hysterectomy. The objective of this study is to compare the safety, efficacy, and cost effectiveness of using prograsp forceps in lieu of needle holder for suturing the vaginal cuff after robotic-assisted hysterectomy. This was a single-institution retrospective review of patients who underwent robotic-assisted hysterectomy for benign and malignant conditions from October 2015 to August 2018. Patients were stratified based on whether prograsp forceps or needle holder was used for suturing vaginal cuff. Data obtained included demographic, surgical data, and postoperative outcomes. Mann–Whitney U test and Chi-square test were used to compare qualitative and quantitative data, respectively. 367 patients underwent robotic-assisted hysterectomies during this period. 75 patients belonged to the needle holder cohort; 292 patients had vaginal cuff closure using prograsp forceps. Vault closure time was comparable between the groups (6.4 vs. 6.6 p = 0.33). There were no significant differences in the postoperative vault-related complications between groups. There was no instrument damage in either group. Using prograsp saved 220 USD in instrument-related charges. This study shows that using prograsp in lieu of needle holder for suturing is safe, there is no increase in operative time or complications, and there is a cost advantage.

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Correspondence to Anupama Rajanbabu.

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Authors Viral Patel and Akhila Appukuttan declare that they have no conflict of interest. Author Anupama Rajanbabu is a proctor and advanced trainer for Robotic surgery.

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Rajanbabu, A., Patel, V.J. & Appukuttan, A. Reducing the cost of robotic hysterectomy: assessing the safety and efficacy of using prograsp forceps in lieu of needle holder for vaginal cuff closure. J Robotic Surg 15, 31–35 (2021).

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  • Prograsp for suturing
  • Robotic assisted hysterectomy
  • Vaginal cuff complications