The shifting trends towards a robotically-assisted surgical interface: Clinical and financial implications

Jeremie Abitbol, Aqsa Munir, Jeffrey How, Susie Lau, Shannon Salvador, Liron Kogan, Roy Kessous, Leslie Breitner, Russell Frank, Beste Kucukyazici, Walter H. Gotlieb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objectives: Some hospitals have invested in robotic surgery platforms to stimulate the uptake of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) and offer its benefits to more patients. The objectives were to determine the clinical and financial effects, as well as the policy implications, of a robotics program in an academic gynecologic oncology division over time. Methods: Patients treated for endometrial, cervical, and ovarian cancer within a gyn-oncology division between 2003 and 2016 were included in the current study. Clinical outcomes were described in function of surgical approach (laparotomy, laparoscopy, and robotic surgery) and tumor site. The net present value and the return on investment of the robotics program were approximated using previously reported treatment costs from our center. Results: The use of MIS soared from a high of 15% to 91% before and after the introduction of robotics in December 2007, respectively. Across all tumor sites, MIS procedures were associated with diminished blood loss and a shorter hospital stay (p < 0.0001). The use of robotics in gyn-oncology resulted in cost savings. Conclusions: Robotic surgery was instrumental in catalyzing the shift from open surgery to MIS and amplifying the number of patients who benefited from less invasive surgery. Continued investments in robotics and the digitization of surgery could help further drive innovation and expand its applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-165
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Policy and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Capital budgeting
  • Gynecologic oncology
  • Health services research
  • Healthcare management
  • Project valuation
  • Robotic surgery
  • Surgical oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Policy


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