Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery: a promising tool should not be denied
Letter to the Editor

Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery: a promising tool should not be denied

Han Wu, Hecheng Li

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China

Correspondence to: Hecheng Li. Department of Thoracic Surgery, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, 197 Ruijin 2nd Road, Shanghai 200025, China. Email: lihecheng2000@hotmail.com.

Provenance: This is an invited article commissioned by Section Editor Jianfei Shen, MD (Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Taizhou Hospital of Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou Medical University, Taizhou, China).

Response to: Augustin F, Bodner J. Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery: a helpful tool or just another expensive gadget? J Thorac Dis 2017;9:2881-3.


Submitted Sep 29, 2017. Accepted for publication Oct 10, 2017.

doi: 10.21037/jtd.2017.10.68


We are grateful for the reviewers’ comments on our manuscript (1). A robotic system has been used in thoracic surgery for more than 10 years, and the technique has matured and become common practice in many institutions.

Many studies have demonstrated the feasibility and safety of the robotic system and have shown that it can achieve equivalent short-term surgical efficacy when compared with traditional video-assisted thoracic surgery, but a higher cost is associated with robotic surgery (2-4). The high cost is due to the additional expenses of the disposable robotic instruments and the substantial overall cost to acquire and maintain the robotic system. Some studies have shown that robotic surgery decreases a portion of overall costs as hospital stay length and overall nursing care costs are reduced. Because the robotic technique continues to evolve and expand, manufacturers of robotic surgical systems will continue to develop new generations of robotic systems to reduce costs and remain competitive (4-8).

Currently, comprehensive evaluations of robotic techniques must be performed to achieve maximal benefits for potential patients. Additionally, in some cases, such as when the patient harbors an infection, the robotic system may be the better choice for the surgeon. We should not abandon this promising technique due to the temporary costs associated with it. The future of robotic surgery is bright.


Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge David Tian, Senior Editor of AME Publishing Company, for editing support.


Footnote

Conflicts of Interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


References

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  2. Wei S, Chen M, Chen N, et al. Feasibility and safety of robot-assisted thoracic surgery for lung lobectomy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. World J Surg Oncol 2017;15:98. [Crossref] [PubMed]
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Cite this article as: Wu H, Li H. Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery: a promising tool should not be denied. J Thorac Dis 2017;9(10):E971-E972. doi: 10.21037/jtd.2017.10.68