Background: Robotic liver resection has emerged as a new modality in the field of minimally invasive surgery. However, the effectiveness of this approach for liver resection is not yet known. Methods: A literature survey was performed using specific search phrases in PubMed. Case series that focused on biliary reconstruction were excluded. Characteristics, such as patient demographics, perioperative outcomes, and oncological results for colorectal liver metastasis and hepatocellular carcinoma were analyzed. Results: Nineteen series that described the cases of 217 eligible patients were reviewed. The most commonly performed procedures were wedge resection and segmentectomy. Right hepatectomy was performed in a few specialized centers. The conversion and complication rates were 4.6 and 20.3 %, respectively. The most common reason for conversion was unclear tumor margin. Intra-abdominal fluid collection was the most frequently occurring morbidity. Mean operation time was 200-507 min. Mean intraoperative blood loss was 50-660 mL, with a tendency toward increased blood loss observed in series that included major hepatectomies. Mean postoperative hospital stay was 5.5-11.7 days. The longest mean follow-up time was 36 months for colorectal liver metastasis and 25.1 months in hepatocellular carcinoma. Disease-free survival for mixed malignancies was comparable to that after laparoscopic procedures. Overall survival was not reported. Conclusions: Robotic liver resection is safe and feasible for experienced surgeons with advanced laparoscopic skills. Long-term oncologic outcomes are unclear, but short-term perioperative results seem comparable to those of conventional laparoscopic liver resection.
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