AIM: Robot-assisted surgery for rectal cancer may result in lower rates of urogenital dysfunction compared with laparoscopic surgery. A systematic review was conducted of studies reporting urogenital dysfunction after robot-assisted rectal cancer surgery. METHOD: PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Library were systematically searched in February 2014. All studies investigating urogenital function after robot-assisted rectal cancer surgery were identified. The inclusion criteria for meta-analysis studies required comparison of robot-assisted with laparoscopic surgery and the evaluation of urological and sexual function by validated questionnaire. The outcome was evaluated using the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and the Female Sexual Function Index. RESULTS: Ten studies including 689 patients were included. For the meta-analysis this fell to four including 152 patients in the robotic group and 161 in the laparoscopic group, without heterogeneity. The IPSS score at 3 and 12 months favoured robot-assisted surgery [mean difference (MD) -1.58; 95% CI (-3.1, -0.0), [P = 0.04; and MD -0.90 (-1.81, -0.02), P = 0.05]. IIEF scores at 3 months' follow-up [MD -2.59 (-4.25, -0.94),] P = 0.002] and 6 months' follow-up [MD -3.06 (-4.53, -1.59), P = 0.0001] were better after robot-assisted than laparoscopic surgery. CONCLUSION: Although there were few data and no randomized controlled trials the results of the review suggested that robot-assisted surgery resulted in improved urogenital function than after laparoscopy.
Colorectal Disease, 2015, Vol 17, Issue 5, p. 375-81