In the first study of its kind, urologists and biostatisticians at Henry Ford Hospital have found that robot-assisted surgery to remove cancerous prostate glands is safe over the long term, with a major complication rate of less than one percent.
The findings, published online this month by the journal European Urology, follow an earlier Henry Ford study that found nearly 87 percent of patients whose cancerous prostates were removed by robot-assisted surgery had no recurrence of the disease after five years.
"We have always felt that robotic surgery for prostate cancer was safe, but there have been no studies that have looked at long-term safety. This is why the Henry Ford study is so important," says Mani Menon, M.D., director of Henry Ford's Vattikuti Urology Institute.
The new research analyzed the surgical outcomes of more than 3,000 consecutive patients at Henry Ford's Vattikuti Urology Institute from January 2005 to December 2009, and addressed "the lack of standardized reporting" that hampered previous published literature on complications of radical prostatectomy (RP).
In RP, the entire diseased prostate gland and some surrounding tissue are surgically removed, in hopes of preventing the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.
Henry Ford Hospital pioneered the use of robots to assist surgeons in the delicate procedure, and the new study notes that robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) is now the most common technique in the U.S. for treating localized prostate cancer.
via Long-term study: Robot-assisted prostate surgery is safe.