Laparoscopic Versus Robot-Assisted Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass: A Center of Excellence for the EAC-BC Experience

Ramon Vilallonga*, Amador García Ruiz De Gordejuela, José Manuel Fort, Oscar Gonzalez, María Rita Rodríguez-Luna, Renato Roriz-Silva, Enric Caubet, Andrea Ciudin, Meritxell Pera-Ferreruela, Carlos Petrola, Manel Armengol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: After the first laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) in 1994 by Wittgrove, the introduction of robot-assisted procedures was the next step in the surgical race to reduce invasiveness. This breakthrough allowed us to perform bariatric surgery with less surgical trauma in obese patients with metabolic disorders, producing an exponential increase in procedures performed. Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study of a prospective database for patients who underwent RYGB during a 7-year period through two different approaches, laparoscopic and robotic. The robotic cases were performed by two generations of the da Vinci platform (S and Xi), and three groups were identified and compared (L-RYGB, RYGB-S, and RYGB-Xi). Results: A total of 495 patients underwent RYGB, of which 224 by laparoscopy (45.2%) and 271 by robotic approach (54.7%): 134 RYGB-S and 137 RYGB-Xi. The majority of the patients (71.1%) were females, with a mean age of 46.2 years and a mean body mass index of 44 kg/m2. The mean intraoperative time and intraoperative complication rate were higher in the robotic groups, especially in the RYGB-S group. Postoperative complications were higher in the same group, with a rate of 11.9%, where the main leakage occurred on the upper part of the gastric pouch and not in the hand-sewed robotic anastomosis (7.5%). General mortality was 0.6%. We found no significant differences at 1-year percentage of total weight loss (%TWL); at 2 years, the RYGB-Xi group had the lowest %TWL (25.24 ± 14.54, P ≤ .001). Conclusions: The present study reflects our experience during the robotic bariatric introduction and performance since 2011. Features of the da Vinci S platform along our learning curve may explain a higher complication rate. The patients who have been operated by the RYGB-Xi system had lower complications than the laparoscopic group. The robotic approach did not differ with laparoscopy in terms of weight loss and chronic complications after 24 months of follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • bariatric
  • robot-assisted
  • robotic
  • RYGB


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