Background: Studies to date show contrasting conclusions when comparing intracorporeal and extracorporeal anastomoses for minimally invasive right colectomy. Large multi-center prospective studies comparing perioperative outcomes between these two techniques are needed. The purpose of this study was to compare intracorporeal and extracorporeal anastomoses outcomes for robotic assisted and laparoscopic right colectomy. Methods: Multi-center, prospective, observational study of patients with malignant or benign disease scheduled for laparoscopic or robotic-assisted right colectomy. Outcomes included conversion rate, gastrointestinal recovery, and complication rates. Results: There were 280 patients: 156 in the robotic assisted and laparoscopic intracorporeal anastomosis (IA) group and 124 in the robotic assisted and laparoscopic extracorporeal anastomosis (EA) group. The EA group was older (mean age 67 vs. 65 years, p = 0.05) and had fewer white (81% vs. 90%, p = 0.05) and Hispanic (2% vs. 12%, p = 0.003) patients. The EA group had more patients with comorbidities (82% vs. 72%, p = 0.04) while there was no significant difference in individual comorbidities between groups. IA was associated with fewer conversions to open and hand-assisted laparoscopic approaches (p = 0.007), shorter extraction site incision length (4.9 vs. 6.2 cm; p ≤ 0.0001), and longer operative time (156.9 vs. 118.2 min). Postoperatively, patients with IA had shorter time to first flatus, (1.5 vs. 1.8 days; p ≤ 0.0001), time to first bowel movement (1.6 vs. 2.0 days; p = 0.0005), time to resume soft/regular diet (29.0 vs. 37.5 h; p = 0.0014), and shorter length of hospital stay (median, 3 vs. 4 days; p ≤ 0.0001). Postoperative complication rates were comparable between groups. Conclusion: In this prospective, multi-center study of minimally invasive right colectomy across 20 institutions, IA was associated with significant improvements in conversion rates, return of bowel function, and shorter hospital stay, as well as significantly longer operative times compared to EA. These data validate current efforts to increase training and adoption of the IA technique for minimally invasive right colectomy.
- Extracorporeal anastomosis
- Intracorporeal anastomosis
- Laparoscopic right colectomy
- Minimally invasive colorectal surgery
- Robotic-assisted right colectomy