Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Aortic Reconstruction for Occlusive Disease: A Case Report

Lois A. Killewich, Lori L. Cindrick-Pounds, Guillermo Gomez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Aortobifemoral bypass is the standard method for revascularization of aortoiliac occlusive disease but is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Laparoscopic aortic reconstruction eliminates the large incision but is limited by the cumbersome nature of laparoscopic instrumentation. A robotic system (da Vinci Computer-Enhanced Robotic Surgical System, Intuitive Surgical, Mountain View, CA) has been developed that allows the surgeon to suture in the same manner as in open procedures. The authors report the first case of an aortic reconstruction for occlusive disease performed using the da Vinci system. A 53-year-old woman presented with gangrene of the left great toe. Angiography revealed distal aortic occlusive disease and occlusion of the common iliac arteries bilaterally. Dissection of the aorta was performed by a transabdominal-retroperitoneal approach modified from Dion (J Vasc Surg 26:128-132, 1997). With use of laparoscopic techniques, the abdominal contents were retracted to the patient's right side while the kidney and ureter remained in the retroperitoneum. The aorta was isolated from the bifurcation proximally to the left renal vein. The patient was anticoagulated, and the aorta was clamped below the left renal artery and proximal to the bifurcation. The da Vinci robotic system was placed on the patient's right side, and an extruded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) graft was passed into the retroperitoneum. While seated at a computer console viewing the operative field on a screen, the surgeon used robotic instruments to fashion an arteriotomy and complete an end-to-side aortic anastomosis using ePTFE suture. The left groin was opened and the aortic graft passed down to the groin. The reconstruction was completed by performing a left-to-right femoro-femoral bypass in standard, open fashion. The procedure was completed in 8 hours with an aortic clamp time of 65 minutes and a 500 cc blood loss. The patient was extubated in the operating room, ate a regular diet on postoperative day 2, and was discharged on postoperative day 4 without complications. Return to normal activities occurred 2.5 weeks postoperatively. The da Vinci robotic system facilitated creation of the aortic anastomosis and shortened aortic clamp time over that achieved with laparoscopic techniques. Robot-assisted laparoscopic aortofemoral bypass should decrease the morbidity and mortality of aortic reconstruction, while providing a durable solution to aortoiliac occlusive disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalVascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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