Urogenital function in robotic vs laparoscopic rectal cancer surgery: a comparative study

Sofoklis Panteleimonitis, Jamil Ahmed, Meghana Ramachandra, Muhammad Farooq, Mick Harper, Amjad Parvaiz

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Purpose - Urological and sexual dysfunction are recognised risks of rectal cancer surgery; however, there is limited evidence regarding urogenital function comparing robotic to laparoscopic techniques. The aim of this study was to assess the urogenital functional outcomes of patients undergoing laparoscopic and robotic rectal cancer surgery.
Methods - Urological and sexual functions were assessed using gender-specific validated standardised questionnaires. Questionnaires were sent a minimum of 6 months after surgery, and patients were asked to report their urogenital function pre- and post-operatively, allowing changes in urogenital function to be identified. Questionnaires were sent to 158 patients (89 laparoscopy, 69 robotic) of whom 126 (80 %) responded. Seventy-eight (49 male, 29 female) of the responders underwent laparoscopic and 48 (35 male, 13 female) robotic surgery.
Results - Male patients in the robotic group deteriorated less across all components of sexual function and in five components of urological function. Composite male urological and sexual function score changes from baseline were better in the robotic cohort (p < 0.001). In females, there was no difference between the two groups in any of the components of urological or sexual function. However, composite female urological function score change from baseline was better in the robotic group (p = 0.003).
Conclusion - Robotic rectal cancer surgery might offer better post-operative urological and sexual outcomes compared to laparoscopic surgery in male patients and better urological outcomes in females. Larger scale, prospective randomised control studies including urodynamic assessment of urogenital function are required to validate these results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-248
JournalInternational Journal of Colorectal Disease
Issue number2
Early online date21 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • Robotic surgery
  • Rectal cancer
  • Urogenital function
  • Urological function
  • Sexual function


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