Safety of robotic surgical management of non-elective colectomies for diverticulitis compared to laparoscopic surgery

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of robotic surgery




Acute care surgery; Colorectal surgery; Diverticulitis; Minimally invasive surgery; Non-elective surgery; Robotic surgery


Non-elective minimally invasive surgery (MIS) remains controversial, with minimal focus on robotics. This study aims to evaluate the short-term outcomes for non-elective robotic colectomies for diverticulitis. All colectomies for diverticulitis in ACS-NSQIP between 2012 and 2019 were identified by CPT and diagnosis codes. Open and elective cases were excluded. Patients with disseminated cancer, ascites, and ventilator-dependence were excluded. Procedures were grouped by approach (laparoscopic and robotic). Demographics, operative variables, and postoperative outcomes were compared between groups. Covariates with p < .1 were entered into multivariable logistic regression models for 30 day mortality, postoperative septic shock and reoperation. 6880 colectomies were evaluated (Laparoscopic = 6583, Robotic = 297). The laparoscopic group included more preoperative sepsis (31.6% vs. 10.8%), emergency cases (32.3% vs. 6.7%), and grade 3/4 wound classifications (53.3% vs. 42.8%). There was no difference in mortality, anastomotic leak, SSI, reoperation, readmission, or length of stay. The laparoscopic group had more postoperative sepsis (p = 0.001) and the robotic group showed increased bleeding (p = 0.011). In a multivariate regression model, increased age (OR = 1.083, p < 0.001), COPD (OR = 2.667, p = 0.007), dependent functional status (OR = 2.657, p = 0.021), dialysis (OR = 4.074, p = 0.016), preoperative transfusions (OR = 3.182, p = 0.019), emergency status (OR = 2.241, p = 0.010), higher ASA classification (OR = 3.170, p = 0.035), abnormal WBC (OR = 1.883, p = 0.046) were independent predictors for mortality. When controlling for confounders, robotic approach was not statistically significantly associated with septic shock or reoperation. When controlling for confounders, robotic approach was not a predictor for mortality, reoperation or septic shock. Robotic surgery is a feasible option for the acute management of diverticulitis.