There is a growing interest in left lateral sectionectomy for donor hepatectomy. No data are available concerning the safety of the robotic (ROB) approach.
A retrospective comparative study was conducted on 75 consecutive minimally invasive donor hepatectomies. The first 25 ROB procedures performed from November 2018 to July 2019 were compared with our first (LAP1) and last 25 (LAP2) laparoscopic cases performed between May 2013 and October 2018. Short-term donors and recipients’ outcomes were analyzed.
No conversions were noticed in ROB whereas 2 conversions (8%) were recorded in LAP1 and none in LAP2. Blood loss was significantly less in ROB compared with LAP1 (P ≤ 0.001) but not in LAP2. Warm ischemia time was longer in ROB (P ≤ 0.001) with respect to the other groups. Operative time was similar in the 3 groups (P = 0.080); however, the hospital stay was shorter in ROB (P = 0.048). The trend in operative time in ROB was significantly shorter compared to LAP1 and LAP2: linear R2 0.478, P≤0.001; R2 0.012, P = 0.596; R3 0.004, P = 0.772, respectively. Donor morbidity was nihil in ROB, similar in LAP1 and LAP2 (n=3%–12%; P = 0.196). ROB procedures required less postoperative analgesia (P = 0.002). Recipient complications were similar for all groups (P = 0.274), and no early retransplantations were recorded.
Robotic left lateral sectionectomy for donor hepatectomy is a safe procedure with results comparable to the laparoscopy in terms of donor morbidity and overall recipients’ outcome when the procedure is performed by experts. Certainly, its use is currently very limited.