Perioperative Outcomes of Robotic Versus Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy in the Superobese

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The Journal of surgical research


BACKGROUND: The robotic platform is often used for bariatric surgery in superobese patients (body mass index >/= 50 kg/m(2)) with the assumption that it offers a technical advantage. This study aimed to compare perioperative outcomes of robotic-assisted sleeve gastrectomy (RSG) and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) in superobese patients.

METHODS: The Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program database was queried for superobese patients undergoing nonrevisional RSG and LSG from 2015 through 2017. Univariate analysis and multivariable logistic regression were used to compare outcomes in RSG and LSG.

RESULTS: A total of 61,493 patients (4685 RSG and 56,808 LSG) were identified. Patients were similar in terms of age (RSG 42.3 +/- 11.8 versus LSG 42.4 +/- 11.7 y; P = 0.60) and body mass index (RSG 56.8 +/- 6.9 versus LSG 56.9 +/- 7.1 kg/m(2); P = 0.17). The RSG group had a longer operative time (102.4 +/- 46.0 versus 74.7 +/- 37.5 min; P < 0.01) and length of stay (1.79 +/- 1.78 versus 1.66 +/- 1.51 d; P < 0.01). Overall morbidity (RSG 3.5% versus LSG 3.7%; P = 0.54) and mortality (RSG 0.1% versus LSG 0.1%; P = 0.73) were similar between the two groups. After adjustment, RSG represented an independent risk factor for organ-space surgical site infection (adjusted odds ratio 2.70; 95% confidence interval 1.54-4.73; P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Use of RSG in superobese patients infers higher risk for organ-space surgical site infection and is associated with prolonged operative time and length of stay. This questions the role of robotics in superobese patients undergoing sleeve gastrectomy.

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