Overall Complications Following Robotic Heller Myotomy Are Lower Compared with Laparoscopy

Joel Chacko, Steven G. Leeds, Bola G. Aladegbami, Gerald O. Ogola, Marc A. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The use of robotics in foregut surgery has become more prevalent in the United States over the last 10 years. We sought to find the differences in the clinical outcomes of robotic surgery compared with traditional laparoscopy in patients undergoing Heller myotomy. Materials and Methods: A retrospective population-based analysis was performed using the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database for the span of 2010 to 2015. All patients who underwent laparoscopic or robotic Heller myotomy were included. Weighted multivariable random intercept linear and logistic regression models were used to assess the impact of robotic surgery on patient outcomes compared with laparoscopy. Results: There was a total of 11,562 patients with a median age of 54.2 years. Robotic Heller myotomy has a significantly decreased risk of overall complications for all centers (odds ratio=0.46; 95% confidence interval=0.29, 0.74). A subset analysis was performed looking specifically at high-volume centers (>20 operations per year), and overall complications remained lower in the robotic group. However, in high-volume centers, the robotic cohort did have a higher rate of esophageal perforation (2.7% vs. 0.8%, P<0.001). There was a higher length of stay in the laparoscopic Heller cohort (3.0 vs. 2.6 d, P=0.06) but higher overall charges in the robotic Heller cohort ($42,900 vs. $34,300, P=0.03). Conclusions: Robotic Heller myotomy is associated with lower overall complications and improved outcomes compared with laparoscopic Heller myotomy, even in high-volume centers. Robotic Heller myotomy is associated with a higher rate of esophageal perforations in high-volume centers despite the reduction in overall complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-323
Number of pages5
JournalSurgical Laparoscopy, Endoscopy and Percutaneous Techniques
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 17 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Heller myotomy
  • National Inpatient Sample
  • achalasia
  • laparoscopy
  • robotic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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