Carbon footprint of robotically-assisted laparoscopy, laparoscopy and laparotomy: A comparison

Demetrius L. Woods, Thomas Mcandrew, Nicole Nevadunsky, June Y. Hou, Gary Goldberg, Dennis Yi-Shin Kuo, Sara Isani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background: To date there have been no comprehensive, comparative assessments of the environmental impact of surgical modalities. Our study seeks to quantify and compare the total greenhouse gas emissions, or 'carbon footprint', attributable to three surgical modalities. Methods: A review of 150 staging procedures, employing laparotomy (LAP), conventional laparoscopy (LSC) or robotically-assisted laparoscopy (RA-LSC), was performed. The solid waste generated (kg) and energy consumed (kWh) during each case were quantified and converted into their equivalent mass of carbon dioxide (kg CO2e) release into the environment. The carbon footprint is the sum of the waste production and energy consumption during each surgery (kg CO2e). Results: The total carbon footprint of a RA-LSC procedure is 40.3 kg CO2e/patient (p < 0.01). This represents a 38% increase over that of LSC (29.2 kg CO2e/patient; p < 0.01) and a 77% increase over LAP (22.7 kg CO2e/patient; p < 0.01). Conclusions: Our results provide clinicians, administrators and policy-makers with knowledge of the environmental impact of their decisions to facilitate adoption of sustainable practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-412
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Endometrial cancer
  • Gynaecology
  • Robotic surgery
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Biophysics
  • Computer Science Applications


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