Use of robotics in liver donor right hepatectomy

Po-Da Chen, Chao-Yin Wu, Yao-Ming Wu


Liver transplantation is the best solution for end stage liver disease, and has been widely accepted and rapidly developed in the past decades. Along with the improved outcomes of liver transplantation, living-related donor transplantation has been conducted to overcome the shortage of the deceased donor. The most important aspects of the living-related liver transplantation are donor safety and fast recovery after graft procurement. Meanwhile, the rapid progress of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) in general surgery has generated heated debate regarding the appropriateness of MIS in living-related donor graft hepatectomy. Technical innovations and instrument enhancements have been allowing recruitment of more potential candidates through smaller wounds and better surgical experience. Although MIS has been documented with safety and feasibility in complex liver surgery, the progress is slow in regard to the application of MIS in donor graft hepatectomy. Pioneer surgeons have devoted themselves to develop the pure MIS approach for the liver donor surgery, but the steep learning curve for pure MIS major hepatectomy remains a major barrier for wide adoption. The introduction of robotic system may lower the barrier for entry for practice into MIS donor hepatectomy.