Background In the field of gastroenterological surgery, laparoscopic surgery has advanced remarkably, and now accounts for most gastrointestinal operations. This paper outlines the current status of and future perspectives on robot-assisted laparoscopic pancreatectomy. Methods A review of the literature and authors' experience was undertaken. Results The da Vinci Surgical System is a robot for assisting laparoscopy and is safer than conventional endoscopes, thanks to the 3-dimensional hi-vision images it yields, high articular function with the ability to perform 7 types of gripping, scaling function enabling 2:1, 3:1, and 5:1 adjustment of surgeon hand motion and forceps motions, a filtering function removing shaking of the surgeon's hand, and visual magnification. By virtue of these functions, this system is expected to be particularly useful for patients requiring delicate operative manipulation. Conclusions Issues of importance remaining in robotassisted laparoscopic pancreatectomy include its time of operation, which is longer than that of open surgery, and the extra time needed for application of the da Vinci compared with ordinary laparoscopic surgery. These issues may be resolved through accumulation of experience and modifications of the procedure. Robot-assisted laparoscopic pancreatectomy appears likely to become a standard procedure in the near future.
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