Biliary cysts (BC) are rare congenital dilatations of intra- and extrahepatic parts of the biliary tract and bear a significant risk of carcinogenesis. Surgery is the cornerstone treatment for patients with BC. While total BC excision and Roux-Y hepaticojejunostomy is the treatment method of the choice in patients with extrahepatic BC (i.e., Todani I-IV), patients with intrahepatic BC (i.e., Todani V) benefit the most from a surgical liver resection. In recent years, minimally invasive liver surgery (MILS) including robotic MILS has gained more acceptance as a feasible, safe, and effective procedure for the treatment of both benign and malignant indications.
Robotic major MILS is still considered technically demanding and a detailed description of the technical approach during robotic major MILS has only been limitedly discussed in the literature. The current article describes the main steps for a robotic left hepatectomy in a patient with a large BC Todani Type V. The patient is in French position with 5 trocars placed (4 robotic, 1 laparoscopic assistant). After mobilizing the left hemiliver, the left and right hepatic artery are dissected carefully followed by a cholecystectomy. Intraoperative ultrasound is performed to confirm localization and margins of the BC.
The Left hepatic artery and left portal vein are isolated, clipped, and divided. Indocyanine green (ICG) fluorescence imaging is used regularly during the entire procedure to visualize and confirm biliary tract anatomy and the BC. Parenchymal transection is performed with robotic cautery hook for the superficial part and robotic cautery spatula, bipolar cautery, and vessel sealer for the deeper parenchyma. The postoperative course was uncomplicated. A robotic left hepatectomy is technically demanding, yet a feasible and safe procedure. ICG-fluorescence imaging aids in delineating the BC and bile duct anatomy. Further, comparative studies are needed to confirm clinical benefits of robotic MILS for benign and malignant indications.