Dr. Davis on Comparisons Between Robotic Surgery and Open Surgery in Lung Cancer

J. Russell Davis, MD

J. Russell Davis, MD, clinical professor, University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Medicine, thoracic surgeon, Saint Luke's Hospital, compares the use of robotic surgery with open surgery in patients with lung cancer.

The use of robotic surgery, specifically robotic-assisted lobectomy and video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), is enabling physicians to deliver better surgical outcomes to patients with lung cancer, explains Davis. Several studies have shown that surgeons can do a better lymph node dissection with robotic surgery compared with an open surgery. The more lymph nodes that can be successfully taken out during surgery, the better oncologists can stage and subsequently treat patients.

Both robotic-assisted lobectomy and VATS have shorter lengths of stay compared with an open lobectomy, adds Davis. In terms of prognosis, VATS is also associated with a better survival compared with an open lobectomy. Overall, robotic surgery—whether robotic-assisted or video-assisted—is cosmetically much more appealing than an open thoracotomy.
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