February 16, 2023

Robotic general surgery trends

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

This study by researchers from the California VA Palo Alto Health System and Stanford School of Medicine compares trends in the use of robotic surgery for common general surgical procedures among Veterans Health Administration (VHA), community practice, and academic healthcare centers between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2021. 

Of 2,322,412 robotic procedures performed in the US (VHA 19,647 [0.8%], community 2,065,869 [89%], and academic 236,896 [10.2%] settings): 

  • inguinal hernia repair was the most common procedure in VHA (8,330 [42.4%]) and community (611,311 [29.6%]) settings 
  • colectomy was most common in academic settings (59,470 [25.1%]) 
  • robotic general surgery procedures increased 16-fold in VHA, 7.5-fold in community, and 6.7-fold in academic settings. 

As robotic surgery continues to increase, future studies should compare long-term and patient-reported outcomes with open and laparoscopic techniques, the authors say. 


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