Influence of robotics in surgical complication rate in elderly population with rectal cancer



Rectal cancer surgery is a technically complex procedure. Moreover, short-term outcomes show high rate of complications especially in elderly and laparoscopic surgery has not demonstrated to be able to reduce this complication rate. Robotics has several advantages in pelvic surgical procedures, which could have an impact in complication rates in elderly patients.


The aim of our study is to demonstrate whether robotic surgery has any influence on the reduction of complications in the aged population undergoing rectal cancer.


We performed a retrospective analysis of a prospective database of 151 patients who underwent robotic surgery for rectal cancer. We divided our population into three groups: under 65-year-old, between 65- and 80-year-old and above 80-year-old. We recorded complications in each group intra and post procedure.


The present study included 151 patients (94 males). Of them, 77 patients were under 66 year old, 63 patients were between 66 and 79 year old and 11 patients were 80 year old and above. The analysis showed conversion rates of 10.38%, 13.69%, 27.27%, and the complication rate of 23.4%, 23.8%, and 27.3% in each group. Univariate analysis showed no differences between the three groups. Nevertheless, there were statistical differences from BMI, ASA and neoadjuvant therapy. In multivariant analysis only neoadjuvant therapy was significant.


Robotic approach does not decrease complications in elderly population and conversion is similar in these age groups. So we should not rule out robotic surgery in elderly patients, although we must select each case with a multidisciplinary approach.

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All authors were responsible for conceptualizing and designing the study; collecting, analyzing and interpreting the data and drafting the manuscript. All authors gave their approval on the final version for publication.

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Correspondence to Rosa M. Jimenez-Rodriguez.

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Our work does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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All patients gave their informed consent to take part on the study which was approved by the ethics committee of the Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocio, Sevilla.

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Ramallo-Solis, I., Jimenez-Rodriguez, R.M., Reyes-Diaz, M.L. et al. Influence of robotics in surgical complication rate in elderly population with rectal cancer. Aging Clin Exp Res 32, 1585–1589 (2020).

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  • Rectal cancer
  • Rectal surgery
  • Robotics
  • Elderly
  • Complications