Which is better, robotic or laparoscopic total mesorectal excision surgery? Does it really matter?

John Marks, Jonathan Josse


The lead article “Robotic-assisted total mesorectal excision (TME) for rectal cancer results in a significantly higher quality of TME specimen compared to the laparoscopic approachreport of a single center experience” as published in the July, 2018 issue of International Journal of Colorectal Disease, illustrates the multiple issues confronting surgeons in the management of rectal cancer. The authors are to be congratulated on their excellent operative results; particularly in their robotic TME group where complete total mesorectal excision was achieved in >97% of their specimens (1). That said, this study raises more questions than it offers answers.