Update on robotic surgery

A study published in JAMA in 2013 compared outcomes of 264,758 women who underwent robotic assisted hysterectomies versus women who had laparoscopic hysterectomies in 441 hospitals between 2007-2010. The researchers found no difference in complication rates, rate of blood transfusions, but did find a large difference in cost. The robotic procedure was found to cost on average one-third more than laparoscopic surgery. The majority of patients went home by 2 days (80% in robot versus 75% in laparoscopic). The cost of robotic surgery was $8868 versus laparoscopic surgery was $6679. Most hysterectomies are prescribed for conditions that are not life-threatening and risks include a loss of sexual responsiveness, depression, chronic constipation and higher risk for osteoporosis and heart disease. In addition, the robotic surgery is and will continue to drive up costs of the health care system in this country.

From New York Times, JAMA, 2013