We compared a single institution experience with radical prostatectomy using a pure laparoscopic technique vs a robotically assisted technique with regard to preoperative, intraoperative or postoperative parameters.
From May 2003 to May 2005 we reviewed 133 consecutive patients who underwent extraperitoneal robot assisted radical prostatectomy and compared them to 133 match-paired patients treated with a pure extraperitoneal laparoscopic approach. The patients were matched for age, body mass index, previous abdominopelvic surgery, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, prostate specific antigen, pathological stage and Gleason score. Preoperative, perioperative and postoperative data, including complications and oncological results, were analyzed between the 2 groups.
The 2 groups were statistically similar with respect to age, body mass index, prostate specific antigen, Gleason score and clinical stage. No statistical differences were observed regarding operative time, estimated blood loss, hospital stay or bladder catheterization between the 2 groups. The transfusion rate was 3% and 9.8% for laparoscopic radical prostatectomy and robotic assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy, respectively (p = 0.03). Conversion from robotic assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy to laparoscopic radical prostatectomy was necessary in 4 cases. None of the laparoscopic radical prostatectomy cases required conversion to an open technique. The percentage of major complications was 6.0% vs 6.8%, respectively (p = 0.80). The overall positive margin rate was 15.8% vs 19.5% for laparoscopic radical prostatectomy and robotic assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy, respectively (p = 0.43).
We demonstrated that the laparoscopic extraperitoneal radical prostatectomy is equivalent to the robotic assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy in the hands of skilled laparoscopic urological surgeons at our institution with respect to operative time, operative blood loss, hospital stay, length of bladder catheterization and positive margin rate.