Robot-Assisted Prostate Cancer Surgery Now in Widespread Use in the U.S.

Robot-Assisted Prostate Cancer Surgery Now in Widespread Use in the U.S.
A new study has shown that robot-assisted prostate removal surgery has increased over the last years in the U.S. as a method to treat prostate cancer. Moreover, even though these surgeries are expensive, it seems their costs are decreasing over time. Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) is done through small incisions in the belly with robotic arms that translate the surgeon's hand motions into more precise action. This surgery usually requires specially trained doctors, and the main objective is to remove all of the cancer. In the study entitled “The impact of robotic surgery on the surgical management of prostate cancer in the USA” and published in the BJUI International journal, researchers from Harvard Medical School, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Brigham and Women's Hospital, wanted to understand the surgeon characteristics associated with RARP adoption and determine the impact of this adoption on practice patterns and cost. As such, they preformed a retrospective cohort study with 489,369 men who underwent non-RARP or RARP in the USA from 2003 to 2010. RARP adoption was defined as more than 50% of annual radical prostatectomies (RP) with the robotic approach, and was found to increase from 0.7% to 42% of surgeons performing RP. Furthermore, the team concluded that high volume surgeons (preforming more than 24 RP per year) were significantly more likely to adopt RARP, with adoption becoming more common among surgeons at teaching hospitals and at intermediate and large-sized hospitals from 2005 to 2007. After 2007, adoption was more common among surgeons at urban hospitals. According to this study, RARP adoption was associated with increased RP volume, and while the annual number of surgeons performing RP decreased, the prop
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