The authors from the Vattikuti Institute in the USA report a prospective comparison of radical prostatectomy and robot-assisted prostatectomy. They found that the robot-assisted procedure was safer, and yielded favourable oncological and functional results. They also present work in association with the Department of Urology in Mansoura into robot-assisted radical cystoprostatectomy and urinary diversion, and point out the advantages and disadvantages associated with performing the most complex types of urinary diversion. There is also an interesting paper relating to the association between sexual factors and prostate cancer, from authors in institutions in Australia, New Zealand and Italy. They found that in a case-control study of men aged <70 years, ejaculatory frequency was negatively associated with the risk of prostate cancer. Technology has made many contributions to the management of urological patients. The classic example is that of urinary stone management. Authors from the USA evaluated cyroablation of renal carcinoma in patients with solitary kidneys. They are encouraged by their results and suggest that there is merit in this treatment, but indicate the need for a longer follow-up.
To prospectively compare standard radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) and the robotically assisted Vattikuti Institute prostatectomy (VIP) in the management of localized prostate cancer.
The study was a single-institution, prospective, unrandomized comparison of histopathological, and functional outcomes, at baseline and during and after surgery, in 100 patients undergoing RRP and 200 undergoing VIP.
While the variables before surgery, the operative duration (163 vs 160 min) and pathological stages were comparable, there were significant differences in the measured outcomes. The blood loss was 910 and 150 mL for RRP and VIP, respectively, and transfusion was greater after RRP (67% vs none; both P < 0.001). There were four times as many complications after RRP (20% vs 5%, P < 0.05), the haemoglobin level at discharge was lower (100 vs 130 g/L, P < 0.005) and the hospital stay longer (3.5 vs 1.2 days; P < 0.05). Most (93%) of VIP and none of the RRP patients were discharged within 24 h (P < 0.001); the duration of catheterization was twice as long after RRP (15.8 vs 7 days; P < 0.05). Positive margin was more frequent after RRP (23% vs 9%, P < 0.05). After VIP, patients achieved continence and return of erections more quickly than after RRP (160 vs 44, and 180 vs 440 days, both P < 0.5). The median return to intercourse was 340 days after VIP but after RRP half the patients have as yet not resumed intercourse at 700 days (P < 0.05).
The VIP procedure appears to be safer, less bloody and requires shorter hospitalization and catheterization. The oncological and functional results were favourable in patients undergoing VIP.