Long-term patient outcomes from the first year of a robotic surgery program using multi-surgeon implementation

Joshua Montroy, Ehab Elzayat, Chris Morash, Brian Blew, Luke T. Lavallée, Ilias Cagiannos, James Watterson, Jeffrey S. Oake, Michael FungKeeFung, Calvin Thompson, Robert Weber, Rodney H. Breau

Abstract


Introduction: There is concern that surgical quality initially declines during the learning phase of robotic surgery. At our institution, we used a multi-surgeon programmatic approach to the introduction of robotic surgery. The purpose of this study was to evaluate outcomes of patients treated during the first year of our program.

Methods: This is a historical cohort of all radical prostatectomy patients during a one-year period. Baseline, perioperative, and long-term followup data were prospectively and retrospectively collected. Treatment failure was a composite of any postoperative radiation, androgen-deprivation, or prostate-specific antigen (PSA)≥0.2.

Results: During the study period, 225 radical prostatectomy procedures were performed (104 robotic and 121 open). Baseline characteristics were similar between groups (p>0.05). All patients were continent and 74% were potent prior to surgery. Mean estimated blood loss (280 cc vs. 760 cc; p<0.001) and blood transfusion (0% vs. 8.3%; p=0.002) was lower in the robotic cohort. Non-transfusion complications were similar between groups (13% vs. 12%; p=0.7). Mean hospital stay was shorter in the robotic cohort (1.4 vs. 2.5 days). There was no difference in overall positive margin rate (38% vs. 43%; p=0.4) or treatment failure at a median followup of 3.5 years (p=0.4). Robotically treated patients were more often continent (89% vs. 77%; p=0.02) and potent (48% vs. 32%; p=0.02).

Conclusions: Using an inclusive multi-surgeon approach, robotic prostatectomy was introduced safely at a Canadian academic institution.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.4528