Robot-assisted radical cystectomy (RARC) has been adopted widely in many centres, owed largely to the success of robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP). It aims to replicate the oncological outcomes of open radical cystectomy (ORC), while providing a shorter recovery period. Despite this, previous RCTs have failed to show a benefit for RARC over ORC. These trials have compared extracorporeal RARC (eRARC) with ORC, which requires a further incision to mobilise the bowel for urinary reconstruction with an open technique. For intracorporeal RARC (iRARC), this urinary reconstruction is performed robotically without further incisions. There are theoretical benefits to this approach such as reduced recovery time for the bowel and reduced ileus rates, but no level 1 evidence currently exists to support this. While there has been an improvement in patient outcomes since the adoption of RARC, various other factors, such as enhanced recovery programmes and surgical learning curve, have made it difficult to attribute this solely to the robotic approach as many centres performing ORC have also shown similar improvements. In this review, we will discuss implementation of RARC as well as perioperative measures that have helped improve outcomes, offer a comparison of outcomes between ORC and RARC and highlight upcoming RCTs that may offer new evidence for or against a paradigm shift in the future of bladder cancer surgery.
Current urology reports. 2017 Aug [Epub]
Pramit Khetrapal, Wei Shen Tan, Benjamin Lamb, Melanie Tan, Hilary Baker, James Thompson, Ashwin Sridhar, John D Kelly, Tim Briggs
Department of Urology, University College London Hospital at Westmoreland Street, 16-18 Westmoreland St, Marylebone, London, W1G 8PH, UK. ., Department of Urology, University College London Hospital at Westmoreland Street, 16-18 Westmoreland St, Marylebone, London, W1G 8PH, UK.