Radical prostatectomy (RP) approaches have rarely been compared adequately with regard to margin and perioperative complication rates.
Review the literature from 2002 to 2010 and compare margin and perioperative complication rates for open retropubic RP (ORP), laparoscopic RP (LRP), and robot-assisted LRP (RALP).
Summary data were abstracted from 400 original research articles representing 167,184 ORP, 57,303 LRP, and 62,389 RALP patients (total: 286,876). Articles were found through PubMed and Scopus searches and met a priori inclusion criteria (eg, surgery after 1990, reporting margin rates and/or perioperative complications, study size>25 cases). The primary outcomes were positive surgical margin (PSM) rates, as well as total intra- and perioperative complication rates. Secondary outcomes included blood loss, transfusions, conversions, length of hospital stay, and rates for specific individual complications. Weighted averages were compared for each outcome using propensity adjustment.
After propensity adjustment, the LRP group had higher positive surgical margin rates than the RALP group but similar rates to the ORP group. LRP and RALP showed significantly lower blood loss and transfusions, and a shorter length of hospital stay than the ORP group. Total perioperative complication rates were higher for ORP and LRP than for RALP. Total intraoperative complication rates were low for all modalities but lowest for RALP. Rates for readmission, reoperation, nerve, ureteral, and rectal injury, deep vein thrombosis, pneumonia, hematoma, lymphocele, anastomotic leak, fistula, and wound infection showed significant differences between groups, generally favoring RALP. The lack of randomized controlled trials, use of margin status as an indicator of oncologic control, and inability to perform cost comparisons are limitations of this study.
This meta-analysis demonstrates that RALP is at least equivalent to ORP or LRP in terms of margin rates and suggests that RALP provides certain advantages, especially regarding decreased adverse events.