Background: Laparoscopic techniques have been used for hiatal hernia repair. Robotic-assisted repairs have been increasingly used with unproven benefits. The aim of this study was to compare outcomes between laparoscopic and robotic-assisted hiatal hernia repair. Methods: The Nationwide Readmissions Database (NRD) was used to identify hospitalizations for laparoscopic or robotic hiatal hernia repair from 2010 to 2019. Primary outcomes included post-operative complications and 30- and 90-day readmission rates. Secondary outcomes included in-hospital death, length of stay, and inflation-adjusted hospital cost. Multivariable models were estimated for overall complication and readmission rates. Results: Approximately 517,864 hospitalizations met inclusion criteria with 11.3% including robotic repairs. Robotic repair was associated with a higher overall complication rate (9.2% vs. 6.8%, odds ratio [OR]: 1.4, 95% CI: 1.3–1.5, p <.001); however, the trend showed more similar complication rates across years. The higher overall complication rate remained after adjusting for patient and facility characteristics (adjusted OR [aOR]: 1.3, 95% CI: 1.2–1.4, p <.001). Robotic repairs were associated with higher 30-day (6.1% vs. 7.4%, aOR: 1.2, 95% CI: 1.2–1.3, p <.001) and 90-day readmission rates (9.4% vs. 11.2%, aOR: 1.2, 95% CI: 1.2–1.3, p <.001). In-hospital mortality and length of stay were similar, although, higher hospital costs were associated with robotic repairs. Both complications and readmission rates were lower as annual procedural volume increased. Conclusion: Robotic repairs had higher unadjusted and adjusted complication and readmission rates. The overall complication rate has shown a trend towards improvement which may be a result of increasing experience with robotic surgery.
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