Robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RALP) using the da Vinci surgical system (Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, CA) is increasingly used for the management of localised prostate cancer.
We report the operative details and short-term oncological and functional outcome of the first 400 RALPs performed at our unit.
From December 2003 to August 2006, 400 consecutive patients underwent RALP at our institution. A prospective database was established to record the relevant details of all RALP cases.
A six port transperitoneal approach using a 4-arm da Vinci system was used to perform RALP. This database was reviewed to establish the operative details and oncological and functional outcome of all patients with a minimum of 12 months follow-up.
Perioperative characteristics and outcomes are reported. Functional outcome was assessed using continence and erectile function questionnaires. Biochemical recurrence (prostate-specific antigen (PSA) > or =0.2 ng/mL) is used as a surrogate for cancer control.
The mean age+/-standard deviation (SD) was 60.2+/-6 years. Median PSA level was 7.0 (interquartile range (IQR) 5.3-9.6) ng/mL. The mean operating time+/-SD was 186+/-49 mins. The complication rate was 15.75% comprising Clavien grade I-II and Clavien grade III complications in 10.5% and 5.25% of patients respectively. The overall positive surgical margin rate was 19.2% with T2 and T3 positive margin rates of 9.6% and 42.3% respectively. The biochemical recurrence-free survival was 86.6% at a median follow-up of 22 (IQR=15-30) months. At 12 months follow-up, 91.4% of patients were pad-free or used a security liner. Of those men previously potent (defined as Sexual Health Inventory for Men [SHIM] score > or =21) who underwent nerve-sparing RALP, 62% were potent at 12 months.
The safety and feasibility of RALP has already been established. Our initial experience with this procedure shows promising short-term outcomes.