Purpose: Robotic gastrectomy (RG) for gastric cancer (GC) was approved for national medical insurance coverage in April, 2018, since when its use has increased dramatically throughout Japan. However, the safety of RG performed by surgeons who are not Endoscopic Surgical Skill Qualification System (ESSQS)-qualified has yet to be established. We conducted this study to verify the short-term outcomes of the initial series of RG procedures performed by non-ESSQS-qualified surgeons. Methods: Between January, 2020 and December, 2021, 30 patients with clinical Stage I and II GC underwent RG performed by four non-ESSQS-qualified surgeons according to the Japan Society for Endoscopic Surgery guideline. We evaluated, retrospectively, the morbidity rates according to Clavien–Dindo (CD) classification grade II or higher. Results: Each operating surgeon completed all procedures without any serious intraoperative adverse events. The median operative time, console time, and estimated blood loss were 413 (308–547) min, 361 (264–482) min, and 25.5 (4–167) mL, respectively. No patient required conversion to laparoscopic or open surgery. Three (10%) patients suffered CD grade II complications postoperatively. The median postoperative hospitalization was 11 (8–51) days. Conclusion: Non-ESSQS-qualified surgeons trained by expert RG surgeons could perform robotic distal gastrectomy safely for initial cases.
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