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J Urol. 2008 Nov;180(5):1969-74. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2008.07.054. Epub 2008 Sep 17.

Patterns of care for radical prostatectomy in the United States from 2003 to 2005.

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  • 1Division of Urologic Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



The demand for minimally invasive radical prostatectomy is increasing, although population based outcomes remain unclear. We assessed use and outcomes in American men undergoing radical prostatectomy.


We identified 14,727 men undergoing minimally invasive, perineal and retropubic radical prostatectomy during 2003 to 2005 using nationally representative, employer based administrative data. We assessed the association between surgical approach and outcomes, adjusting for age, race, comorbidity and geographic region.


Minimally invasive radical prostatectomy use increased from 5.4% to 24.4%, while conversion to open surgery decreased from 28.6% to 4.5% in the 3-year study. Men undergoing minimally invasive and perineal radical prostatectomy vs retropubic radical prostatectomy experienced fewer 30-day complications (14.2% and 14.9% vs 17.5%, p = 0.001), blood transfusions (2.2% and 3.6% vs 9.1%, p <0.001) and anastomotic strictures (6.8% and 8.5% vs 12.9%, p <0.001), and shorter median length of stay (1 and 2 days, respectively, vs 4, p <0.001). On adjusted analysis minimally invasive vs retropubic radical prostatectomy was associated with fewer 30-day complications (OR 0.78, 95% CI 0.66, 0.92), transfusions (OR 0.24, 95% CI 0.16, 0.34) and anastomotic strictures (OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.40, 0.62), and shorter length of stay (parameter estimate -0.53, 95% CI -0.58, -0.49). Similarly perineal vs retropubic radical prostatectomy was associated with fewer transfusions (OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.31, 0.82) and anastomotic strictures (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.47, 0.90), and shorter length of stay (parameter estimate -0.53, 95% CI -0.42, -0.29).


While the use of minimally invasive radical prostatectomy surged, men undergoing minimally invasive vs perineal radical prostatectomy experienced a lower risk of 30-day complications, blood transfusions and anastomotic strictures, and a shorter length of stay. Furthermore, perineal vs retropubic radical prostatectomy was also associated with relatively favorable outcomes. Further study is needed to assess continence, potency and cancer control.

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