INTRODUCTION: An IPAA is the preferred operative approach for restoration of intestinal continuity in patients with ulcerative colitis and familial adenomatous polyposis. As minimally invasive approaches have become more widely adopted, their use in IPAA has also become increasingly commonplace. Laparoscopy has the same limitations during the proctectomy portion as seen in operations for rectal cancer, including dissection in the mid-to-lower rectum attributed to angles created by bony confines of the deep pelvis and lack of visibility when constructing the anastomosis. Robotic surgery provides improved 3-dimensional and high-definition visualization of the pelvis and multiple degrees of freedom, which greatly enhance performance during the proctectomy and construction of the anastomosis.
TECHNIQUE: In the setting of a previous subtotal colectomy, the ileostomy site is taken down and stapled across. A 15-mm balloon trocar is placed in the site to achieve insufflation, and the robotic ports are placed horizontally just above the umbilicus. The lateral mesenteric attachments are mobilized laparoscopically, then the J-pouch is constructed through the ostomy site. The J-pouch is placed back into the abdomen with the anvil in place, and the proctectomy is performed after docking the robot. The rectum is stapled with the robotic stapler and exteriorized from the ileostomy site, and the anastomosis is constructed under direct robotic visualization.
RESULTS: In addition to the potential ergonomic advantages, the maneuverability and visualization in the pelvis during the proctectomy and construction of the anastomosis are reported by many surgeons to be improved as compared with laparoscopy, especially in male or obese patients.
CONCLUSIONS: A robotic approach during the proctectomy and IPAA offers significant advantages to a laparoscopic approach, expanding our armamentarium of minimally invasive surgical techniques to IPAA.
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