Robotic pancreaticoduodenectomy

Richard Sola Jr, Russell C. Kirks, David A. Iannitti, Dionisios Vrochides, John B. Martinie


Pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) is considered one of the most complex and technically challenging abdominal surgeries performed by general surgeons. With increasing use of minimally invasive surgery, this operation continues to be performed most commonly in an open fashion. Open PD (OPD) is characterized by high morbidity and mortality rates in published series. Since the early 2000s, use of robotics for PD has slowly evolved. For appropriately selected patients, robotic PD (RPD) has been shown to have less intraoperative blood loss, decreased morbidity and mortality, shorter hospital length of stay, and similar oncological outcomes compared with OPD. At our high-volume center, we have found lower complication rates for RPD along with no difference in total cost when compared with OPD. With demonstrated non-inferior oncologic outcomes for RPD, the potential exists that RPD may be the future standard in surgical management for pancreatic disease. We present a case of a patient with a pancreatic head mass and describe our institution’s surgical technique for RPD.