Robot-assisted versus open radical prostatectomy: An evidence-based comparison - Abstract

San Giovanni Battista University Hospital, Torino, Italy.


A robotic system has been used in tens of thousands of minimally invasive prostate cancer treatment surgeries worldwide. The aim of the paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of the robotic surgery versus traditional surgery for the treatment of early prostate cancer in Italy.

Since this study is an observational study, we have no control over the treatment assignment. However, the treated (patient who undergo robotic assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP)) and control groups (patient who undergo open radical prostatectomy (ORP)) may differ significantly prior to treatment in ways that may affect the outcomes under study. In order to avoid erroneous conclusions we have dealt with the problem of significant group differences by using a propensity score matching procedure.

The average age at radical prostatectomy for the two groups was similar. 97% of patients have bladder neck sparing during the open prostatectomy versus 77% of patients who belong to RALP group. RALP group presents higher urinary continence and lower blood loss rate with respect to ORP group (86,3% versus 65.6% and 9% versus 31.1% respectively). Among patients who underwent ORP 20.4% were spared nerves versus 4.5% of patients who were treated with RALP. The body mass and self-assessed health for the two groups were similar. In the logistic regression model used for the calculation of Propensity Score, bladder neck sparing and the size of the tumor were significant and presented a negative coefficient. Older age, advanced stage of the tumor, and linfonodal involvement negatively affect the likelihood of robotic technology. From our empirical analysis it arises that the robot technique does not significantly affect the hospital stay, blood loss nor the variables about post-intervention quality of life (urinary continence and self-assessed health).

The robotic system does not seem to present major efficacy with respect to open radical prostatectomy. In particular our findings do not support any significant differences in quality of life, blood loss, hospital stay, and urinary incontinence in patients operated with robot-assisted surgery versus open retropubic radical prostatectomy.

Written by:
Minniti D, Chiadò Piat S, Di Novi C.   Are you the author?

Reference: Technol Health Care. 2011 Jan 1;19(5):331-9.
doi: 10.3233/THC-2011-0635

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 22027152 Prostate Cancer Section


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