Impact of Robotic Training on Surgical and Pathologic Outcomes During Robot-assisted Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy

Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, California, United States
Urology (Impact Factor: 2.19). 03/2010; 76(2):363-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.urology.2009.09.085
Source: PubMed


To prospectively compare outcomes during robotic prostatectomy between surgeons with formal training in either robotic prostatectomy (RALP) or laparoscopic prostatectomy (LRP).
A total of 286 robotic prostatectomies were performed by 12 urologists between August 2008 and March 2009 as part of a new robotic surgery program at one of the largest health maintenance organizations in the United States. Four surgeons had formal training in RALP and 8 had formal training in LRP. We prospectively compared surgical and pathologic outcomes between these 2 groups of surgeons.
The 4 RALP surgeons performed 121 RALPs and the 8 LRP surgeons performed 165 RALPs. Patient demographics were similar between groups. The robot-naive group had significantly more clinical stage T1c than the robot-trained group (87.9% vs 74.4%, P = .003). Prostatectomy parameters were similar between the 2 groups of surgeons in terms of prostate size, Gleason score, pathologic stage, and estimated blood loss. The robot-trained surgeons had significantly lower overall positive margin rates (24% vs 34.6%, P = .05) and lower margin rates in T3 tumors (38.5% vs 61.8%, P = .07), which were approximately statistically significant. There was no difference in margin rates in T2 tumors. The robot-trained surgeons had significantly lower apical margin rates (8.3% vs 21.2%, P = .003) and lateral margin rates (1.7% vs 7.3%, P = .05). The robot-trained surgeons had 10%-15% shorter procedure times. There was no difference in complication rates.
Formal RALP training may be beneficial for surgical and pathologic outcomes of RALP compared with formal LRP training during the initial implementation of a new robotics program.

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    • "They concluded that surgeons should consider whether they can build enough experience to minimize suboptimal oncological outcomes before embarking on or continuing a RALP program. Kwon et al. attempted to prospectively compare outcomes during robotic prostatectomy between surgeons with formal training in either robotic prostatectomy (RALP) or laparoscopic prostatectomy (LRP) [23]. Twelve urologists conducted 286 robotic prostatectomies of which 4 surgeons had formal training in RALP and 8 had formal training in LRP. "

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