Setting up a robotic hepatectomy program: a Western-European experience and perspective

Carolijn L. Nota, Inne H. Borel Rinkes, Jeroen Hagendoorn


Currently the majority of liver resections are performed via open resection. Nevertheless, minimally invasive liver surgery is gaining ground and conventional laparoscopy has proven to be beneficial in different fields of liver surgery compared to open resections. Still, conventional laparoscopy has a few downsides, from which straight instruments, 2-dimensional view and awkward ergonomics are the most obvious. The robotic surgical system is developed to overcome these limitations. It offers several advantages over conventional laparoscopy to optimize conditions in minimally invasive surgery: instruments are wristed with a wide range of motion and the view is 3-dimensional and magnified. With instruments with a greater range of motion than in laparoscopic surgery, the use of a robotic system potentially broadens indications for minimally invasive liver resection. Here, we discuss the steps of setting up a robotic hepatectomy program against the background of the initial experience at our institution.