Current Status of Robot-Assisted Radical Cystectomy: What is the Real Benefit?

In recent years, robot-assisted radical cystectomy has received attention worldwide as a useful procedure that helps to overcome the limitations of open radical cystectomy. We compared the surgical technique, perioperative and oncological outcomes, and learning curve of robot-assisted radical cystectomy with those of open radical cystectomy.

The indications for robot-assisted radical cystectomy are identical to those of open radical cystectomy. Relative contraindications are due to patient positioning in the Trendelenburg position for long periods. Urinary diversion is performed either extracorporeally with a small skin incision or intracorporeally with a totally robotic-assisted maneuver. Accordingly, robot-assisted radical cystectomy can be performed safely with an acceptable operative time, little blood loss, and low transfusion rates. The lymph node yield and positive surgical margin rate were not significantly different between robot-assisted radical cystectomy and open radical cystectomy. The survival rates after robot-assisted radical cystectomy are estimated to be similar to that after open radical cystectomy. However, the recurrence pattern is different between robot-assisted radical cystectomy and open radical cystectomy, i. e. , extrapelvic lymph node recurrence and peritoneal carcinomatosis were more frequently found in patients who underwent robot-assisted radical cystectomy than in those who underwent open radical cystectomy. Further validation is necessary to prove the feasibility of oncological control. A steep learning curve is one of the benefits of the new technique. The experience of only 50 robot-assisted radical prostatectomies is a minimum requirement for performing feasible robot-assisted radical cystectomy, and surgeons who have performed only 30 surgeries can reach an acceptable level of quality for robot-assisted radical cystectomy.

Yonago acta medica. 2015 Oct 14 [Epub]

Atsushi Takenaka

Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Tottori University Faculty of Medicine, Yonago 683-8503, Japan.

PubMed      Full Text Article

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