Medical Device Daily
SLS Annual Meeting: Laparoscopy versus robot-assisted MIS a hotly debated topic at SLS
By Jeffrey Berg
LAS VEGAS — The annual meeting of the Society of Laparoscopic Surgeons (SLS; Miami) was captioned as "Minimally Invasive Surgery Week" and drew an international audience with attendees from 40 countries. The primary focus of the conference was on minimally invasive surgery (MIS) procedures that are human-driven and performed laparoscopically or robotically-assisted laparoscopy. The program featured three separate debates which reviewed the merits or drawbacks of these techniques. Each of the speakers reviewed data from comparative studies, cost analyses, surgical outcomes and speed of recovery. Despite convincing arguments that favored one MIS technique vs. the other, there was no consensus on which approach is to be favored. As the moderator noted, "there are lot of different ways to frame something. It ultimately depends on the preference of the individual surgeon." Sarah Sherwood, a spokesperson for SLS, told MDD that "it had been thought that robotics would be the easier option for MIS surgery, but it has proven not to be easy. It requires training."