Incidence of surgical site infection associated with robotic surgery

Elizabeth D. Hermsen, Tim Hinze, Harlan Sayles, Lee Sholtz, Mark E. Rupp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective. Robot-assisted surgery is minimally invasive and associated with less blood loss and shorter recovery time than open surgery. We aimed to determine the duration of robot-assisted surgical procedures and the incidence of postoperative surgical site infection (SSI) and to compare our data with the SSI incidence for open procedures according to national data. design. Retrospective cohort study. setting. A 689-bed academic medical center. patients. All patients who underwent a surgical procedure with use of a robotic surgical system during the period from 2000-2007. methods. SSIs were defined and procedure types were classified according to National Healthcare Safety Network criteria. National data for comparison were from 1992-2004. Because of small sample size, procedures were grouped according to surgical site or wound classification. results. Sixteen SSIs developed after 273 robot-assisted procedures (5.9%). The mean surgical duration was 333.6 minutes. Patients who developed SSI had longer mean surgical duration than did patients who did not (558 vs 318 minutes; ). The prostate P < .001 and genitourinary group had 5.74 SSIs per 100 robot-assisted procedures (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.81-11.37), compared with 0.85 SSIs per 100 open procedures from national data. The gynecologic group had 10.00 SSIs per 100 procedures (95% CI, 2.79-30.10), compared with 1.72 SSIs per 100 open procedures. The colon and herniorrhaphy groups had 33.33 SSIs per 100 procedures (95% CI, 9.68-70.00) and 37.50 SSIs per 100 procedures (95% CI, 13.68-69.43), respectively, compared with 5.88 and 1.62 SSIs per 100 open procedures from national data. Patients with a clean-contaminated wound developed 6.1 SSIs per 100 procedures (95% CI, 3.5-10.3), compared with 2.59 SSIs per 100 open procedures. No significant differences in SSI rates were found for other groups. conclusions. Increased incidence of SSI after some types of robot-assisted surgery compared with traditional open surgery may be related to the learning curve associated with use of the robot.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)822-827
Number of pages6
JournalInfection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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