The use of robots in the treatment of rectal cancer has grown rapidly in recent years. Short-term and oncological outcomes have been studied extensively, and the results are consistent with those of laparoscopic surgery. When the number of survivors rises, it becomes more urgent to prioritize things like longevity and comfort. The research aimed to evaluate the differences between robotic and laparoscopic rectal surgeries in terms of quality of life and urinary, sexual, and lower gastrointestinal function. There was a comprehensive search of robotic vs. laparoscopic rectal resections in Medline, PubMed, Embase, the Clinical Trials Register, and the Cochrane Library. Patients undergoing robotic or laparoscopic rectal resection were compared for their quality of life and urinary, sexual, and gastrointestinal functions. Wherever possible, similar data sets were combined for a single analysis. About 1,777 papers were found in the initial search; 101 were read in full, and 14 studies were included in the analysis. About 11 looked at how male sexual function was affected by surgery; 7 favored robotic surgery, and the rest found no difference. The odds ratio (OR) for male sexual dysfunction 12 months after robotic surgery was significantly lower than before the procedure (OR, 0.51; P=0.043), according to a pooled analysis of 5 studies. Results from 12 studies comparing urinary function were analyzed. Around 6 of the studies favored robotic surgery, but in 2 of them, the benefit wore off after 6 months. Improved urinary function scores at 12 months after robotic surgery were found in a meta-analysis of 4 studies (OR, 0.26; P=0.016). Life expectancy and gastrointestinal function were comparable, but data on either is scarce. Only 2 of these studies even attempt to randomize the participants. Comparisons and data pooling is hindered by the use of multiple scoring systems. There is no difference in the quality of life or gastrointestinal function between robotic and laparoscopic rectal cancer resection, but the limited data suggests that the former improves male sexual and urinary functions. Studies should use consistent grading scales when reporting functional outcomes in the future.

 

Source: journals.lww.com/dcrjournal/Abstract/2022/10000/Patient_Related_Functional_Outcomes_After.6.aspx