Robotic surgery in colorectal cancer: the way forward or a passing fad

James Chi-Yong Ngu, Seon-Hahn Kim


Introduced mainly to overcome the technical limitations of laparoscopy, robotic colorectal surgery (CRS) has been touted to provide superior optics, ergonomics, and surgeon autonomy. This technological advancement is nonetheless associated with certain drawbacks, mainly involving its cost and the lack of unequivocal benefit over conventional laparoscopy. In this era of evidence-based medicine, robotic CRS remains predominantly a subject of individual institution case series, retrospective studies, matched comparisons at best, and repeated reviews of the above literature. This article provides a critique of the more contemporary data regarding the use of robotics in colorectal cancer surgery and the controversies surrounding the literature.