Narrative review: robotic pediatric surgery-current status and future perspectives


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Background and Objective: Robot-assisted surgery has been progressively involved in various fields of adult and pediatric surgery, demonstrating many advantages over either mini-invasive or open surgery. The aim of this review is to provide the most recent evidence on robot-assisted pediatric surgery, in all its subspecialties. Methods: A comprehensive electronic literature search of PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library was conducted using appropriate Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms and keywords. The interval time considered was a 5-year period [2017-2022], and no language restrictions were applied.Key Content and Findings: A total of 685 titles were identified. After applying exclusion criteria, 73 articles for robotic pediatric surgery have been published and were included in this review. We extrapolated and summarized the current evidence on robot-assisted surgery in pediatric age through all the fields of applicability.Conclusions: Robot-assisted surgery is technically feasible in case of a selected pediatric cohort, and it is going to achieve similar or better surgical results if related to the standard open or mini-invasive procedures. Copious case series and randomized trials are still required. Due to the great potential that this new technology is demonstrating, in the close future the evolution of robotic platform will offer a valid and solid alternative in the treatment of various pediatric pathologies.
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