The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of decreasing insufflation pressure during robotic gynecologic surgery. The primary outcomes were patient-reported postoperative pain scores and length of stay. Secondary outcomes include surgical time, blood loss, and intraoperative respiratory parameters. This is a retrospective cohort study of patients undergoing robotic surgery for benign gynecologic conditions by a single minimally invasive surgeon at an academic hospital between 2014 and 2017. Patients were categorized by the maximum insufflation pressure reached during the surgery as either 15, 12, 10, or 8 mmHg. Continuous variables were compared using analysis of variance and χ2 test was used for categorical variables. 598 patients were included in this study with no differences in age, BMI, race, prior abdominal surgeries, or specimen weight between the four cohorts. When comparing cohorts, each decrease in insufflation pressure correlated with a significant decrease in initial pain scores (5.9 vs 5.4 vs 4.4 vs. 3.8, p ≤ 0.001), and hospital length of stay (449 vs 467 vs 351 vs. 317 min, p ≤ 0.001). There were no differences in duration of surgery (p = 0.31) or blood loss (p = 0.09). Lower operating pressures were correlated with significantly lower peak inspiratory pressures (p < 0.001) and tidal volumes (p < 0.001). Surgery performed at lower-pressure pneumoperitoneum (≤ 10 mmHg) is associated with lower postoperative pain scores, shorter length of stay, and improved intraoperative respiratory parameters without increased duration of surgery or blood loss. Operating at lower insufflation pressures is a low-cost, reversible intervention that should be implemented during robotic surgery as it results in the improved pain scores and shorter hospital stays.
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The authors have no financial support to disclose. The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author, [CF] upon reasonable request.
Conflict of interest
Christine E. Foley has no conflicts of interest to disclose. Erika Ryan has no conflicts of interest to disclose. Jian Qun Huang is a consultant for ConMed, Intuitive Surgical and Ethicon.
This retrospective chart review study involving human participants was in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The Human Investigation Committee (IRB) of New York University School of Medicine approved this study. IRB Date and Number: 4/3/19: i18-00606, 6/12/15: i15-00360.
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Appendix 1: Enhanced recovery protocol for ambulatory robot-assisted gynecological surgery
Appendix 1: Enhanced recovery protocol for ambulatory robot-assisted gynecological surgery
Preoperative on day of surgery:
Follow Departmental guidelines regarding nil per os (NPO) status. This allows for clear liquids up until 2 h prior to surgery.
Tylenol 1000 mg per os (PO) in holding area.
Use propofol-based total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) as the primary anesthetic
Antibiotic prophylaxis as per protocol.
Orogastric (OG)/nasogastric (NG) tube and Foley to be placed and removed prior to ex-tubation unless directed by surgical team.
Zofran 4 mg intravenous push (IVP) (if not contraindicated).
Decadron 10 mg IVP (if not contraindicated).
Hydromorphone 1 mg intramuscular (IM) approximately 30 min prior to emergence (consider less for smaller individuals).
Toradol 30 mg IM prior to emergence (if not contraindicated).
Fluid Management: 15 cc/kg/h + replacement for blood loss for the first two hours for surgery and then continue at 5 cc/kg/h.
Local infiltration of surgical sites with 0.5% bupivacaine per surgical team.
Postoperative in postoperative anesthesia unit (PACU):
Incentive spirometry to begin in PACU.
IV fluids at 15 cc/kg/h for the first hour; then 5 cc/kg/h.
Tea or coffee as preferred PO intake.
Rescue medications in PACU:
Antiemetics (choice of)
Haldol 1 mg IM × 1.
Tigan 200 mg IM × 1.
Breakthrough analgesics (choice of)
Fentanyl in titrated doses of 25 mcg IV per dose.
Percocet/Vicodin when necessary (PRN).
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Foley, C.E., Ryan, E. & Huang, J.Q. Less is more: clinical impact of decreasing pneumoperitoneum pressures during robotic surgery. J Robotic Surg (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11701-020-01104-4
- Postoperative pain
- Robotic surgery