Purpose: This study aimed to clarify the short- and long-term outcomes of robotic surgery with or without lateral lymph node dissection (LLND) for rectal cancer at Fujita Health University Hospital, Aichi, Japan, during a self-pay period. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated 115 consecutive patients who underwent robotic surgery for rectal cancer between September 2009 and March 2018, with a median follow-up period of 48 months. Total mesorectal excision was completed by two certified surgeons using a da Vinci S, Si, or Xi Surgical System with an entirely robotic single-docking technique. The surgical and pathological outcomes, morbidity, and oncological results were examined. Results: Lateral lymph node dissection was performed in 26 patients (22.6%). Neither conversion to open surgery nor perioperative blood transfusion occurred. Ten patients (8.7%) experienced Clavien–Dindo grade III postoperative complications. Pathologically, both the distal and radial margins were negative in all cases. The 5-year relapse-free survival rates for stages I, II, III, and IV were 93.5%, 100%, 83.8%, and not reached, respectively. Conclusions: Even in the period before coverage by the health insurance system, robotic surgery for rectal cancer performed by experienced surgeons was safe and technically feasible, with favorable perioperative results and long-term oncological outcomes, including rates of the relapse-free survival.
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