Robotic Techniques in Weight Loss Surgery

We are occasionally asked by patients about the benefits of robotic techniques in bariatric surgery. At South Texas Surgeons, we have experience in these procedures, but feel that there is no proven benefit to warrant use of the robot for most patients who choose weight loss surgery.  A recent review in the publication Surgical Endoscopy supports our view.  In this study, patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve surgery or Lap-band surgery were evaluated. There was no difference in complication rate or outcome with the use of the robot.  In fact, the only difference noted was that robotic surgery cost over 20% more than traditional laparoscopic surgery. We will continue to use state-of-the-art technology  in weight loss surgery to ensure the best outcomes for our patients. Using current surgical techniques that we have refined at South Texas Surgeons, typical procedure times for the gastric sleeve surgery are less than an hour, and less than 30 minutes for the Lap-band surgery procedure.  With low complications and early hospital discharge for our patients, we feel the increased risk of robotic surgery (increased operative time, likely higher incidence of incisional hernia formation, and increased cost) do not currently warrant its use.

Drs. Gerardo Carcamo and Keith Wright, with South Texas Surgeons in San Antonio, are happy to discuss this topic, as well as any other questions you have regarding the Lap-band, sleeve gastrectomy, or the gastric bypass.