Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy safe over long term

April 7, 2011

Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy is safe over the long term, with a major complication rate of less than 1%, say researchers at Henry Ford Hospital?s Vattikuti Urology Institute, Detroit.

Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy is safe over the long term, with a major complication rate of less than 1%, say researchers at Henry Ford Hospital’s Vattikuti Urology Institute, Detroit.

The findings, published online in European Urology (Feb. 5, 2011), follow an earlier Henry Ford study that found nearly 87% of patients had no recurrence of the disease after 5 years.

"We have always felt that robotic surgery for prostate cancer was safe, but there have been no studies that have looked at long-term safety. This is why the Henry Ford study is so important," said senior author Mani Menon, MD.

The study analyzed the surgical outcomes of more than 3,000 consecutive patients at Vattikuti Urology Institute from January 2005 to December 2009, and addressed “the lack of standardized reporting” that hampered previous published literature on complications of radical prostatectomy.

Among the study group of 3,317 patients, the team found a median hospitalization time of only 1 day. There were 368 complications in 326 of the patients, most of which were minor and occurred within 30 days of the surgery.

A patient’s PSA scores before surgery, as well as cardiac disease, were found to predict complications after surgery. Age, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and biopsy score predicted possible surgical complications.

"While these results provide strong endorsement for robotic surgery, we want to emphasize that the results are dependent more on the surgical team that controls the da Vinci robot [Intuitive Surgical, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA] rather than just the robot," Dr. Menon said.