J Endourol 2014 May 6;28(5):560-6. Epub 2014 Feb 6.
1 Department of Urology, MD Anderson Cancer Center , Houston, Texas.
Introduction: The primary aims of this study were to assess the learning curve effect of robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) in a large administrative database consisting of multiple U.S. hospitals and surgeons, and to compare the results of RARP with open radical prostatectomy (ORP) from the same settings.
Materials And Methods: The patient population of study was from the Premier Perspective Database (Premier, Inc., Charlotte, NC) and consisted of 71,312 radical prostatectomies performed at more than 300 U.S. hospitals by up to 3739 surgeons by open or robotic techniques from 2004 to 2010. The key endpoints were surgery time, inpatient length of stay, and overall complications. We compared open versus robotic, results by year of procedures, results by case volume of specific surgeons, and results of open surgery in hospitals with and without a robotic system.
Results: The mean surgery time was longer for RARP (4.4 hours, standard deviation [SD] 1.7) compared with ORP (3.4 hours, SD 1.5) in the same hospitals (p<0.0001). Inpatient stay was shorter for RARP (2.2 days, SD 1.9) compared with ORP (3.2 days, SD 2.7) in the same hospitals (p<0.0001). The overall complications were less for RARP (10.6%) compared with ORP (15.8%) in the same hospitals, as were transfusion rates. ORP results in hospitals without a robot were not better than ORP with a robot, and pretreatment co-morbidity profiles were similar in all cohorts. Trending of results by year of procedure showed no differences in the three cohorts, but trending of RARP results by surgeon experience showed improvements in surgery time, hospital stay, conversion rates, and complication rates.
Conclusions: During the initial 7 years of RARP development, outcomes showed decreased hospital stay, complications, and transfusion rates. Learning curve trends for RARP were evident for these endpoints when grouped by surgeon experience, but not by year of surgery.