A single-center experience using the da Vinci robotic system to perform vascular procedures demonstrated the safety and feasibility of this technique in different areas of vascular surgery.

Dr. Petr Štádler and his colleauges at the No Homolce Hospital in Prague reported on 310 robotic-assisted vascular procedures performed between November 2005 and May 2014 with the aid of the da Vinci system. They concluded that robotic-assisted vascular procedures added to the speed and relative simplicity of construction of vascular anastomoses.

The patient cohort had procedures consisting of 224 robotic occlusive disease treatments (group 1), 65 robotic aorto-illiac aneurysm surgeries (group II), and 21 other robotic procedures (group III) as reported online in the European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery (2016. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2016.02.016).

A total of 298 cases (96.1%) were successfully completed robotically, with conversion required in 10 cases; 2 patients were inoperable. The overall 30-day mortality rate was 0.3% for the entire cohort, and only two (0.6%) late prosthetic infections were seen. The median operating time was 204 min, the median anastomosis time was 29 min, and median blood loss was 571 mL.

In comparing groups I and II, group I required an operative time of 194 min, compared with 253 min in group II. Mean aortic cross-clamp time was 37 min in group I and 93 min in group II, while the mean blood loss was greater in group II (1,210 mL) as compared with group 1 (320 mL).

“The robotic system provides a real opportunity for minimally invasive surgery in the field of vascular surgery … with all its advantages. Robotic AAA [abdominal aortic aneurysm] and aortofemoral bypass represent the standard operations in vascular surgery and they are not only possible, but safe and effective,” said Dr. Štádler and his colleagues. They added, however, that “further randomized studies are needed to ensure its benefits and the cost-effectiveness of robotic vascular surgery, compared with open and laparoscopic repair.”

Dr, Štádler and his colleagues reported that they had no disclosures.