Have you ever wondered how doctors can remove tumors from the stomach or the colon without making big cuts on the body? This is possible thanks to a type of surgery called minimally invasive surgery (MIS). MIS uses small holes and special tools to do the operation. MIS has many benefits over traditional surgery, such as less pain, bleeding, infection, and scarring, as well as faster recovery and shorter stay in the hospital. However, MIS also has some challenges, such as hard to see, hard to move, and hard to learn. In this blog, I will compare two types of MIS for stomach and colon cancers: laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery.
Stomach cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the stomach. It is the fifth most common cancer and the third most deadly cancer in the world. Surgery is the main way to treat stomach cancer, especially if it is found early. Laparoscopic surgery is a type of MIS that involves removing part or all of the stomach through several small holes in the belly. Robotic surgery is a newer type of MIS that uses a machine that helps the doctor to do the operation. Robotic surgery has some advantages over laparoscopic surgery, such as better control, accuracy, comfort, and vision.
A recent study that looked at 31 studies with 12,401 stomach cancer patients compared laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery. The study found that robotic surgery had fewer problems after the operation, especially with the pancreas, more lymph nodes removed (a way to check if the cancer has spread), faster time to pass gas (a sign of normal bowel function), less blood loss during the operation, and higher cost than laparoscopic surgery. There was no difference between robotic surgery and laparoscopic surgery in how long the patients lived, how often they had to switch to traditional surgery, how long they stayed in the hospital, how often they died or had to redo the operation. The study said that robotic surgery was safe and effective for stomach cancer, but more research was needed to see how it affects the patients in the long run.
Colon cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. It is the third most common cancer and the second most deadly cancer in the world. Surgery is also the main way to treat colon cancer, especially if it is found early. Laparoscopic surgery is a type of MIS that involves removing part or all of the colon or rectum through several small holes in the belly or pelvis. Robotic surgery is a newer type of MIS that uses a machine that helps the doctor to do the operation. Robotic surgery has some advantages over laparoscopic surgery, such as easier access to tight spaces, lower chance of switching to traditional surgery, and better protection of urinary and sexual function.
A large study that used data from 2010 to 2014 analyzed how MIS was used for 260,669 colon cancer and 52,239 rectal cancer patients. The study found that more and more patients were getting robotic surgery for both colon and rectal cancers, while fewer patients were getting traditional surgery. The study also found that patients who got robotic or laparoscopic surgery had shorter stay in the hospital, fewer times they had to go back to the hospital (except for rectal cancers), and lower chance of dying after the operation than patients who got traditional surgery. Robotic surgery had similar results as laparoscopic and traditional surgery in removing enough tissue around the tumor (a way to make sure no cancer cells are left behind) and lymph nodes in both colon and rectal cancers. The study said that robotic surgery was becoming more popular for colon and rectal cancers and that it did not harm the patients or make them lose their chance of being cured.
In conclusion, laparoscopic and robotic surgery are both good options for stomach and colon cancers. Robotic surgery may have some benefits over laparoscopic surgery in terms of fewer problems after the operation, better quality of removing tumor and lymph nodes, and faster return of bowel function. However, robotic surgery also has some drawbacks over laparoscopic surgery in terms of longer time for the operation and higher cost. More studies are needed to compare how laparoscopic and robotic surgery affect the patients' quality of life and cost-effectiveness for stomach and colon cancers.