Radical prostatectomy for prostatic adenocarcinoma: a matched comparison of open retropubic and robot-assisted techniques


Matthew Gettman, Department of Urology, Mayo Clinic, Gonda 7S, 200 First Street, SW Rochester, MN 55905, USA. e-mail: gettman.matthew@mayo.edu



To assess the perioperative complications and early oncological results in a comparative study matching open radical retropubic (RRP) and robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) groups.


From August 2002 to December 2005 we identified 294 patients undergoing RARP for clinically localized prostate cancer. A comparison RRP group of 588 patients from the same period was matched 2:1 for surgical year, age, preoperative prostate-specific antigen level, clinical stage and biopsy Gleason grade. Perioperative complications were compared. Patients completed a standardized quality-of-life questionnaire. Pathological features were assessed and Kaplan-Meier estimates of biochemical progression-free survival (PFS) were compared.


There was no significant difference in overall perioperative complications between the RARP and RRP groups (8.0% vs 4.8%, P = 0.064). Wound herniation was more common after RARP (1.0% vs none, P = 0.038), and development of bladder neck contracture was more common after RRP (1.2% vs 4.6%; P < 0.018). The hospital stay was less after RARP (29.3% vs 19.4%, P = 0.004, for a stay of 1 day). At the 1-year follow-up there was no significant difference in continence (RARP 91.8%, RRP 93.7%, P = 0.344) or potency (RARP 70.0%, RRP 62.8%, P = 0.081) rates. The biochemical PFS was no different between treatments at 3 years (RARP 92.4%, RRP 92.2%; P = 0.69).


There was no significant difference in overall early complication, long-term continence or potency rates between the RARP and RRP techniques. Furthermore, early oncological outcomes were similar, with equivalent margin positivity and PFS between the groups.