Robotic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for testicular cancer at a national referral centre.

We aim to determine if robot-assisted retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (R-RPLND) can be performed as a safe option to open RPLND in selected patients with metastatic germ cell cancer.

This population-based prospective study was performed at a one of two national referral centres for RPLND in Sweden. All patients referred during January 2017-March 2021 were screened for possible inclusion. R-RPLND was performed using the Da Vinci Xi surgical system. Perioperative parameters, postoperative complications (Clavien-Dindo), final pathology, preservation of antegrade ejaculation and relapse rates were evaluated. Classifiers for selecting patients to open versus robotic RPLND were analysed by logistic regression modelling. The median follow-up was 23 months.

Of 87 patients referred, 29 were selected for R-RPLND, 19 in a post-chemotherapy setting. In median, retroperitoneal tumour diameter was 18 mm, BMI 24 kg/m2, operative time 433 min, estimated blood loss 50 ml and length of stay 3 days. One patient underwent open conversion due to failure to progress. Four patients had Clavien-Dindo grade 3 complications, of which three were chylous-related. No in-field recurrences occurred during follow-up.

This population-based study suggests that R-RPLND can be safely performed in at least one third of patients referred for an RPLND. A relatively high rate of lymph-leakage may represent a potential drawback. Tumour size may be the most important discriminator when deciding on robotic versus open RPLND. Further studies with longer follow-up are needed to validate the results.

BJUI compass. 2022 Mar 31*** epublish ***

Anna Grenabo Bergdahl, Marianne Månsson, Göran Holmberg, Magnus Fovaeus

Department of Urology, Institute of Clinical Science Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Göteborg Göteborg Sweden.