Document Type


Publication Title

Minimally Invasive Surgery


Background: Situs inversus totalis (SIT) is a rare genetic anomaly involving the mirror-image transposition of organs. This transposition can potentially make surgical treatments difficult because of the reversed anatomy and intraoperative confusion. The aim of this systematic review is to compare the perioperative outcomes and safety of robotic and laparoscopic gastrectomy in patients with SIT.

Methods: We included full-text case reports with brief reviews and standalone case studies on SIT patients age ≥21, undergoing laparoscopic or robotic gastrectomy. We excluded case studies focusing on procedures other than laparoscopic and robotic gastrectomy, namely, open gastrectomy, gastric banding, and gastric bypass. English was selected as the language and articles published in the last 10 years were selected with a date range from Jan, 2011, to Aug, 2021. We focused on intraoperative and postoperative outcomes including blood loss, vascular aberrancy, operation duration, mortality, operative complications, duration of hospitalization, and follow-up interval. Online databases included Clinical Key, Embase, ScienceDirect, Ovid, and Google Scholar. The last search was conducted on Aug 15, 2021. For all eligible articles, risk of bias assessment was carried out using JBI critical appraisal checklist (Table 1). Continuous data were analyzed using t-test with p value of 0.05.

Results: From our search, we retained 29 case reports which reported information from 30 cases. The results reported in each study were summarized (Table 2). The laparoscopic procedure was used in 21 cases and robot-assisted surgery was used in 9 cases. Operative time was mentioned in 24 out of the 30 cases and the average operative time was 205.67 min. Blood loss was reported in 16 out of the 30 cases, with an average blood loss of 51.9 mL. Hospital stay information was provided in 26 out of the 30 cases, with an average length of stay of 8.5 days. A statistically significant difference was not found for the operative time, length of hospitalization, or age of the patient. However, intraoperative blood loss in robot-assisted gastrectomy was lower compared to laparoscopic gastrectomy, with a p value of 0.0293. Perioperative death was not reported in any of the cases. Only three cases of postoperative complications were reported in laparoscopic surgery. Only one of the three cases suggested that the complication was due to an anomaly, whereas the other two of them reported complications due to procedural errors.

Conclusion: Laparoscopic and robotic gastrectomy can be safely used for SIT patients if performed cautiously. Some precautions include thoroughly assessing anatomical aberrations using preoperative imaging, adjusting the operative set up, and having experienced surgeons. The robotic approach may have a few advantages over laparoscopic procedures that may enhance the surgical safety for SIT patients and need to be further explored in future research. Advantages of the robotic approach may include improved surgical safety with better visualization of the surgical field, promoting the stability of surgical instruments and perhaps allowing ease of surgical orientation and positioning when operating on patients with SIT. Further research in this field is merited.



Publication Date