From the Journals

Robot-assisted prostatectomy providing better outcomes


Key clinical point: Robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy provides better outcomes than laparoscopic procedures.

Major finding: Quality-of-life score for robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy was higher in all urinary categories after 3 months.

Data source: Postop survey results from patients with localized prostate cancer who underwent laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (n = 229) or robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (n = 115).

Disclosures: The investigators had no financial disclosures to report.



Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy shows better early postoperative outcomes than does laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, but the differences between the two surgical approaches disappeared by the 6-month follow-up.

Dr. Hiroyuki Koike and his colleagues at Wakayama (Japan) Medical University Hospital conducted a study of two groups of patients treated for localized prostate cancer. One group of 229 patients underwent laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP) between July 2007 and July 2013. The other group of 115 patients had robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) between December 2012 and August 2014 (J Robot Surg. 2017;11[3]:325-31).

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The patients were given health-related quality of life self-assessment surveys prior to surgery and at 3, 6, and 12 months post surgery. In addition, a generic questionnaire, the eight-item Short-Form Health Survey, was used to assess a physical component summary (PCS) and a mental component summary (MCS). The Expanded Prostate Cancer Index of Prostate, which covers four domains – urinary, sexual, bowel, and hormonal – was used as a disease-specific measure, and the response rates for both LRP and RARP at each follow-up interval were over 80%.

“The RARP group showed significantly better scores in urinary summary and all urinary subscales at postoperative 3-month follow-up. However, these differences disappeared at postoperative 6 and 12-month follow-up,” the investigators wrote. For the urinary summary score, LRP significantly underperformed, compared with RARP, with scores of 63.3 vs. 75.8, respectively, after 3 months. In addition, the bowel function score was superior for RARP, compared with LRP, at 96.9 vs. 92.9, respectively. Sexual function results were similar, with RARP and LRP scores of 2.8 vs. 0.

The general measures of the PCS and MCS also favored RARP. At the 3-month follow-up, PCS (51.3 vs. 48.1) and MCS (50 vs. 47.8) scores were higher for RARP, compared with LRP.

“It is unclear why our superiority of urinary function in RARP was observed only in early period. However, we can speculate several reasons for better urinary function in RARP group. First, we were able to treat the apex area more delicately with RARP. Second, some of the new techniques which we employed after the introduction of RARP could influence the urinary continence recovery,” the investigators wrote.

The authors had no relevant financial disclosures.

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