Robot-assisted thoracic surgery

Health Technology Wales
Record ID 32018000706
Authors' objectives: HTW assessed the effectiveness of robot-assisted thoracic surgery for lung resection or anterior mediastinal mass excision and compared outcome measures with conventional treatment using video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) or open surgery. This is an updated version of an appraisal. HTW originally published Guidance on this topic in September 2019.
Authors' results and conclusions: HTW’s Guidance currently does not support routine adoption of robot-assisted thoracic surgery as while it shows promise, there is a lack of evidence about its long term effects. Further research is need on the long-term impacts and on patient experience.
Authors' recommendations: The evidence does not support the routine adoption of robot-assisted thoracic surgery. The current evidence suggests equivalent clinical outcomes but uncertainty about any improvement in short and long term clinical effectiveness of robotic thoracic surgery as compared to standard of care (open or video-assisted thoracic surgery). The economic analysis suggests that robotic thoracic surgery is not cost effective compared to video-assisted thoracic surgery although there is uncertainty around some key aspects of the analysis.
Authors' methods: The Evidence Appraisal Report is based on a literature search (strategy available on request) for published clinical and economic evidence on the health technology of interest. It is not a full systematic review but aims to identify the best available evidence on the health technology of interest. Researchers critically evaluate and synthesise this evidence. We include the following clinical evidence in order of priority: systematic reviews; randomised trials; non-randomised trials. We only include evidence for “lower priority” evidence where outcomes are not reported by a “higher priority” source. We also search for economic evaluations or original research that can form the basis of an assessment of costs/cost comparison. We carry out various levels of economic evaluation, according to the evidence that is available to inform this.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2023
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Rapid Review
Country: Wales, United Kingdom
MeSH Terms
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures
  • Thoracic Surgery
  • Thoracic Surgical Procedures
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms
  • Pneumonectomy
  • Lung cancer
  • Lung resection
  • Anterior mediastinal mass excision
  • Robot-assisted surgery
Organisation Name: Health Technology Wales
Contact Address: Floor 3, 2 Capital Quarter, Tyndall Street, Cardiff, CF10 4BZ
Contact Name: Susan Myles, PhD
Contact Email:
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.