Robotics, design, construction, and use of machines (robots) to perform tasks done traditionally by human beings. Robots are widely used in such industries as automobile manufacture to perform simple repetitive tasks, and in industries where work must be performed in environments hazardous to humans. Many aspects of robotics involve artificial intelligence; robots may be equipped with the equivalent of human senses such as vision, touch, and the ability to sense temperature. Some are even capable of simple decision making, and current robotics research is geared toward devising robots with a degree of self-sufficiency that will permit mobility and decision-making in an unstructured environment. Today’s industrial robots do not resemble human beings; a robot in human form is called an android.

Robotic gastric bypass

Robotics has started to gain momentum in bariatric surgery over the past several years. The first robotic gastric bypass was performed in 2000 [8]. The primary literature published has been in regard to laparoscopic versus robotic gastric bypass. There have been multiple institutional reviews published, focusing on outcomes in robotic-assisted, where portions of the operation are performed laparoscopically, and total robotic gastric bypasses compared to laparoscopy. Outcomes have been variable, with some demonstrating increased leak rates and higher readmission rates, and others demonstrating equivalent outcomes [9,10]. Increased operative time has been evident across multiple studies.

National database studies of robotic bariatric surgery focus on short-term postoperative outcomes when comparing robotics to laparoscopy. An analysis performed of the Bariatric Outcomes Longitudinal Database from 2007 to 2012 identified 137,455 patients who underwent either robotic or laparoscopic primary gastric bypass. When the cohorts were propensity-matched, robotic gastric bypass patients had increased operative time, reoperation, 30- and 90-day complications, readmissions, stricture, ulceration, and anastomotic leak. Therefore the authors concluded that patients undergoing robotic gastric bypass had a higher rate of postoperative morbidity compared to laparoscopy [11].

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