In the U.S., robot-assisted surgery is now both more common and more successful than traditional open radical surgery to treat prostate cancer. That's according to a new Henry Ford Hospital study published in the current issue of the medical journal European Urology.
The research is the first to compare the results of robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) to the traditional surgical procedure, known as open radical prostatectomy (ORP).
ORP involves opening the lower abdomen with a long incision, and removing the entire diseased prostate gland and surrounding tissue in the hope of preventing the cancer from spreading.
RARP is done through tiny incisions using minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery with robotic assistance.
The key findings from the comparison:
- Of the 19,278 patients that underwent prostate surgery, 11,889 underwent RARP and 7,389 underwent ORP.
- More RARPs were performed at teaching institutions in urban locations, and a higher proportion of RARPs were performed at high-volume hospitals.
- RARP patients were less likely than ORP patients to need a blood transfusion.
- RARP patients were also less likely to have a prolonged hospital stay and less like to suffer complications during or after surgery.
Importantly, the new study found "superior" results with RARP in virtually every outcome studied. "We've seen a significant trend toward the use of minimally invasive approaches to radical prostatectomy for the treatment of prostate cancer, particularly in the U.S.," noted Quoc-Dien Trinh, lead author of the study. Trinh's work follows from another study published last year that showed that RARP is safe over the long term, with a complication rate of less than 10 percent. That followed another Henry Ford study that found nearly 87 percent of patients whose cancerous prostates were removed by robot-assisted surgery had no recurrence of the disease after 5 years.
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Source: Henry Ford Health System