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Rev Urol. 2009 Spring;11(2):61-70.

Status of radical prostatectomy in 2009: is there medical evidence to justify the robotic approach?

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New York University School of Medicine New York, NY.


This article presents the evolution of open radical retropubic prostatectomy (ORRP) into a minimally invasive procedure and reviews the literature to provide a legitimate comparison between ORRP and robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical retropubic prostatectomy (RALRP). The article is limited to manuscripts cited in the peer-reviewed literature, and an effort was made to identify those articles that fulfilled the highest level of medical evidence. In centers of excellence, ORRP is performed with no mortality, extraordinarily low technical and medical complications (1%), the rare need for blood transfusions, 1- to 2-day hospital stays, urinary catheters that are routinely removed in a week, the majority of men returning to work in 2 weeks, and up to 97% of men regaining urinary continence. Return of potency remains a challenge, especially for older men with marginal erections. RALRP is now the most common approach for the surgical removal of the malignant prostate. A critical review of the literature fails to support the marketing claims that RALRP is associated with shorter hospitalization, less pain, better cosmetics, shorter catheter time, lower transfusion rates, or improved continence and potency rates. The highest level of medical evidence suggests that RALRP may significantly compromise oncologic outcomes and that men undergoing this approach have higher regret rates than men undergoing ORRP.


Open radical retropubic prostatectomy; Prostate cancer; Robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical retropubic prostatectomy


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