A recent study reports that the robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) is both more common in the United States and more successful than traditional open radical prostatectomy (ORP). Published in journal European Urology, the study found that patients treated with RARP had a lower likelihood of:
- requiring a blood transfusion
- having a prolonged hospital stay
- suffering complications during or after surgery
Led by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital’s Vattikuti Urology Institute (VUI), the study is said to represent the first time a nationwide population sample has been used to compare the results of RARP against ORP.
The study concludes:
Contemporary data from the United States demonstrate that robot-assisted radical prostatectomy has supplanted open radical prostatectomy as the most common surgical approach for prostate cancer. Adjusted analyses demonstrate superior perioperative outcomes after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy in virtually all of the examined outcomes.
Quoc-Dien Trinh, MD, the lead author of the study surmises in a press release that the shift towards minimally invasive radical prostatectomy “has been controversial,” noting that “there have been few comparative studies” of it to open radical prostatectomy. “Most of [the studies that had been done] looked only at single institutions or single surgeons, and they were of poor evidentiary quality,” he adds.
While the researchers did not examine the disparities in patient access to robotic surgery, they noticed that there were sizable differences between patients who received robotic surgery versus traditional open surgery. In particular, patients who received robotic surgery were more likely to be Caucasian and were more likely to go to an urban academic center for surgery. “This is significant not only because better surgical outcomes are expected at academic centers,” Dr. Trinh explains. “But other recent data show that patients without private insurance—those covered by Medicare or Medicaid, or self-paid—are more likely to have complications during and after surgery, and need much more time in the hospital.”