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J Urol. 2013 Nov;190(5):1757-62. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2013.05.036. Epub 2013 May 18.

Risk of incisional hernia after minimally invasive and open radical prostatectomy.

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Urology Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York; Department of Urology, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.



The number of radical prostatectomies has increased. Many urologists have shifted from the open surgical approach to minimally invasive techniques. It is not clear whether the risk of post-prostatectomy incisional hernia varies by surgical approach.


In the linked Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare data set we identified men 66 years old or older who were treated with minimally invasive or open radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer diagnosed from 2003 to 2007. The main study outcome was incisional hernia repair, as identified in Medicare claims after prostatectomy. We also examined the frequency of umbilical, inguinal and other hernia repairs.


We identified 3,199 and 6,795 patients who underwent minimally invasive and open radical prostatectomy, respectively. The frequency of incisional hernia repair was 5.3% at a median 3.1-year followup in the minimally invasive group and 1.9% at a 4.4-year median followup in the open group, corresponding to an incidence rate of 16.1 and 4.5/1,000 person-years, respectively. Compared to the open technique, the minimally invasive procedure was associated with more than a threefold increased risk of incisional hernia repair when controlling for patient and disease characteristics (adjusted HR 3.39, 95% CI 2.63-4.38, p<0.0001). Minimally invasive radical prostatectomy was associated with an attenuated but increased risk of any hernia repair compared with open radical prostatectomy (adjusted HR 1.48, 95% CI 1.29-1.70, p<0.0001).


Minimally invasive radical prostatectomy was associated with a significantly increased risk of incisional hernia compared with open radical prostatectomy. This is a potentially remediable complication of prostate cancer surgery that warrants increased vigilance with respect to surgical technique.


ADT; MIRP; ORP; RP; androgen deprivation therapy; intraoperative complications; minimally invasive; minimally invasive RP; open RP; prostate; prostatectomy; prostatic neoplasms; radical prostatectomy; surgical procedures

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