The Lister AirSeal® port closure technique – Initial patient outcomes
INTRODUCTION The 12-mm AirSeal® port is widely used in robotically assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy due to its ability to maintain stable pneumoperitoneal pressures and smoke evacuation. However, it creates a potential risk of port site hernia. We have traditionally used EndoClose™ to perform full thickness closure of this port, but noted that patients experienced increased pain related to this procedure, which sometimes persisted for several months. Using the Da Vinci Si we performed peritoneal closure with 2-0 vicryl by switching the fourth arm to the right master controller. The external oblique sheath was closed outside with 1 Ethibond. MATERIALS AND METHODS We performed this closure in 20 consecutive patients (group 1). Postoperative day 1, 2 and post-discharge telephone consultation pain scores (1–10) were recorded and compared with the previous 20 consecutive patients who had the EndoClose closure (group 2). RESULTS We recorded an instructional video to enable reproduction of the new technique. The mean length of stay was 1.5 days for patients in group 1 and 1.9 days for those in group 2 (P = 0.04). There was no difference in operating time or average day 1 pain scores. Post-discharge follow-up call revealed 1 of 20 patients who had AirSeal port site pain in group 1 and 5 of 17 in group 2 (P = 0.04). Pain scores also tended to be higher for group 2. CONCLUSIONS Our preliminary analysis of this novel technique to close the AirSeal port in two separate layers improves postoperative pain related to this port site.