Objective: Robot-assisted rectal surgery is gaining popularity, and robotic single-site surgery is also being explored clinically. We report our initial experience with robotic transanal total mesorectal excision (R-taTME) and radical proctectomy using the robotic single-site plus one-port (R-SSPO) technique for low rectal surgery. Methods: Between July 2015 and March 2016, 15 consecutive patients with ultra-low rectal lesions underwent R-taTME followed by radical proctectomy using the R-SSPO technique by a single surgeon. The clinical and pathological results were retrospectively analyzed. Results: The median operative time was 473 (range, 335–569) min, and the estimated blood loss was 33 (range, 30–50) mL. The median number of lymph nodes harvested was 12 (range, 8–18). The median distal resection margin was 1.4 (range, 0.4–3.5) cm, and all patients had clear circumferential resection margins. We encountered a left ureteric transection intraoperatively in one patient, and another patient required reoperation for postoperative adhesive intestinal obstruction. There was no 30-day mortality. Conclusion: R-taTME followed by radical proctectomy using the R-SSPO technique for patients with low rectal lesions is technically feasible and safe without compromising oncologic outcomes. However, there were considerable limitations and a steep learning curve using current robotic technology.
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