Saturday, May 30, 2009

Robot-assisted Prostate Surgery Has Possible Benefits

Although minimally invasive prostate removal aided by a robot can lead to less blood loss, shorter hospital stays and fewer complications, there is no evidence that the procedure improves cure rates, according to a new technology assessment. The review of 625 cases looks at two studies that compared the three procedures available to patients: traditional open surgery, laparoscopic (also known as minimally invasive) surgery and robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery. Open prostatectomy had a significantly higher overall complication rate of 15 percent, while non-robotic laparoscopic prostatectomy had a rate of 10 percent and robotic-assisted had a complication rate of 5 percent. "If you have to choose between someone who hasn't performed many robotic surgeries and a person who has performed many open procedures -- take the open procedure," says Peter G. Schulam, M.D., Ph.D., a urology professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
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