Learning curve of robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy for a single experienced surgeon: Comparison with simultaneous laparoscopic radical prostatectomy - Abstract

PURPOSE: Despite the large number of analytical reports regarding the learning curve in the transition from open to robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP), few comparative results with laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP) have been reported.

Thus, we evaluated operative and postoperative outcomes in RARP versus 100 simultaneously performed LRPs.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A single surgeon had performed more than 1,000 laparoscopic operations, including 415 cases of radical nephrectomy, 85 radical cystectomies, 369 radical prostatectomies, and treatment of 212 other urological tumors, since 2009. We evaluated operative (operation time, intraoperative transfusion, complications, hospital stay, margin status, pathological stage, Gleason score) and postoperative (continence and erectile function) parameters in initial cases of RARP without tutoring compared with 100 recently performed LRPs.

RESULTS: Mean operation time and length of hospital stay for RARP and LRP were 145.5±43.6 minutes and 118.1±39.1 minutes, and 6.4±0.9 days and 6.6±1.1 days, respectively (p=0.003 and p=0.721). After 17 cases, the mean operation time for RARP was similar to LRP (less than 2 hours). Positive surgical margins in localized cancer were seen in 11.1% and 8.9% of cases in RARP and LRP, respectively (p=0.733). At postoperative 3 months, sexual intercourse was reported in 14.0% and 12.0%, and pad-free continence in 96.0% and 81.0% in patients with RARP and LRP, respectively (p=0.796 and p=0.012).

CONCLUSIONS: Previous large-volume experience of LRPs may shorten the learning curve for RARP in terms of oncological outcome. Additionally, previous experience with laparoscopy may improve the functional outcomes of RARP.

Written by:
Ku JY, Ha HK.   Are you the author?
Department of Urology, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, Korea; Biomedical Research Institute, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, Korea.

Reference: World J Mens Health. 2015 Apr;33(1):30-5.
doi: 10.5534/wjmh.2015.33.1.30

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 25927060

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