Robotic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Lowers Complications And Death Risk

No moralities and a significant lower gastrointestinal leak rate is what the Robotic Roux-en-Y has to offer, according to a clinical research study on obesity surgery released in October of 2009. Surgeons at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston that have performed the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass have been assisted by the da Vinci robot since the year 2000 and have reported no gastrointestinal leaks.

Brad Elliot Snyder of the mentioned university says, “To date, we boast the largest reported RARYGB (Robotic Assisted Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass) series in the world and demonstrate below average complication rates for what is arguably the most complicated elective laparoscopic surgery.”

The robotic surgeons are known to perform the surgery in the same amount of time and often even quicker than the standard laparoscopic RYGB with lower complications, no mortality and no gastrointestinal leaks. Of course, robotics is more expensive but the lower risk of complications far outweigh the additional costs. Studies show that the overall complication rate when comparing both procedures was identical at 14% with the robotic surgery having a slight advantage of 0.3% less in major complication rates. The largest difference, however, falls in the morbidity of gastrointestinal leaks. Laparoscopic was at 1.7% while the robotic was at an impressive grand total of 0.

During clinical research, the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston tracked 320 patients over the last five years they have been offering the procedure. They document pre and post surgery information on the patients including age, starting weight, starting body mass index, follow-up body mass index, excessive weight, operative time, length of stay, complications and readmission rate. The average age of the patients was 45 while the average body mass index was at 49.1. After only one year post surgery, 115 of those patients boasted a body mass index of 32.2, that is a 66% decrease. An additional 51 patients after two years also matched that figure with a 66% decrease. The average hospital visit was 2.7 days and average operating time was 193 minutes.

Complications of Robotic-Assisted Roux-en-Y

Robotic-assisted Roux-en-Y offers absolutely no gastrointestinal leaks. Other general complication rate was at 22.5% and included vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain.

The study had only 2.8% in major complications including ulcer, bowel obstructions, strictures and pulmonary embolisms.

RARYGB Awards a Lower Threat of Complications

Robotic-assisted surgery offers patients a significantly lower threat from surgical complications but with the same long-term impressive excessive weight loss and resolution of co-morbid disease. RARYGB offers lower morbidity which is agreed to be the clinical advantage over the increased cost. In addition to that advantage, there is money saved due to less intensive care and required hospital days.

It is anticipated to be even further advances in robotics stands used to revolutionize surgery in the future. Robotic-assisted surgery is predicted to find its home in single port surgeries and natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery in every operating room in some way in the future.


The original paper on gastrointestinal leaks shows 0% on the robotic method compared to (6/51) or 11.7% not 1.7% as seen some places online.

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