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Radical prostatectomy: a systematic review of the impact of hospital and surgeon volume on patient outcome


  • Ailsa Wilson MD, PhD; Nicholas E. Marlow GDPH; Guy J. Maddern MBBS, MS, MD, PhD, FRACS; Bruce Barraclough MBBS FRACS FACS; Neil A. Collier MBMS, FRACS FRCS; Ian C. Dickinson MBBS, FRACS; Jonathon Fawcett DPhil, FRACS, FRCS; John C. Graham FRACS

Dr Guy J. Maddern, ASERNIP-S, PO Box 553, Stepney, South Australia 5069, Australia. Email:


Background:  To assess the impact of hospital and surgeon volume on mortality, morbidity, length of hospital stay and costs of radical prostatectomy (RP).

Methods:  This systematic review identified relevant studies published between 1997 and June 2007. Inclusion of papers was established through application of a predetermined protocol, independent assessment by two reviewers, and a final consensus decision.

Results:  Compared with low volume hospitals, the included studies showed high volume hospitals demonstrated lower rates of mortality, postoperative complications and readmissions, and lower overall hospital costs. High volume surgeons similarly showed lower rates of postoperative complications and shorter length of stay compared with low volume surgeons, but no difference in mortality.

Conclusions:  From the literature obtained, patients undergoing RP performed by high volume providers may have better outcomes compared to low volume providers; however, any move to centralize RP must be further evaluated.