4 years ago

Robotic thoracic surgery results in shorter hospital stay and lower postoperative pain compared to open thoracotomy: a matched pairs analysis

Danjouma Cheufou, Gerhard Weinreich, Clemens Aigner, Sandra Kampe, Christopher Darr, Thomas Hachenberg


To evaluate postoperative pain intensity and length of hospital stay after open or robotic thoracic surgery in a standardized postoperative pain therapy setting.


In the present retrospective (oberservation period: January 2015 until January 2016) study we matched data of 38 patients with robotic thoracic surgery ("robotic patients"; age: 62.2 years, male gender: 42.1%) with 38 patients with open thoracic surgery ("open patients"; age: 62.5 years, male gender: 42.1%). Power analysis indicated that 36 patients per group would be required.


68% of all patients received an epidural catheter, and 32% a systemic opioid based analgesia. Postoperative pain intensity in "robotic patients" was lower at rest on postoperative day 3–5 compared to "open patients" (NRS POD 3 robotic surgery 0.5±1.0 vs. open surgery 1.0±1.6, p = 0.04; NRS POD 4 robotic surgery 0,5 ± 1.0 vs. open surgery 1.1±1.3, p=0.04; NRS POD 5 robotic surgery 0.7 ± 1.0 vs. open surgery 1.5±1.5, p=0.003). Chest tube duration was shorter in "robotic patients" (2.9 ± 2.0 days vs. 4.9 ± 2.2 days; p < 0.001). Moreover, length of hospital stay was shorter in "robotic patients" than in "open patients" (6.9 days vs. 8.0 days; p = 0.02). There was no significant difference in postoperative opioid consumption between the groups. Nearly 95% of patients were discharged home with an oral opioid in both groups.


Patients after robotic pulmonary resection experience lower postoperative pain and are discharged earlier from hospital than patients after open thoracic surgery. Study limitations: The study design is retrospectively.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00464-017-5464-6

DOI: 10.1007/s00464-017-5464-6

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