Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy compared with open and laparoscopic approaches: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Journal Article
International Journal of Urology, 2013, 20 (3), pp. 312 - 321
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Medline and Embase were searched for studies comparing robot-assisted radical prostatectomy with open prostatectomy and conventional laparoscopic prostatectomy. Random effects meta-analysis was used to calculate a pooled estimate of effect. The 95% prediction intervals are also reported. One randomized study and 50 observational studies were identified. The results show that compared with open surgery, robot-assisted surgery is associated with fewer positive surgical margins for pT2 tumors (relative risk 0.63, 95% confidence interval 0.49-0.81, P<0.001) and improved outcomes for sexual function at 12months (relative risk 1.60, 95% confidence interval 1.33-1.93, P=<0.001), and, to a lesser extent, urinary function at 12months (relative risk 1.06, 95% confidence interval 1.02-1.11, P<0.01). Compared with conventional laparoscopic prostatectomy, robot-assisted surgery is associated with a slight increase in urinary function at 12months (relative risk 1.09, 95% confidence interval 1.02 to 1.17, P=0.013). The overall methodological quality of the included studies was low, with high levels of heterogeneity. The use of prediction intervals as an aid to decision making in regard to the introduction of this technology is examined. Clinically significant improvements in positive surgical margins rates for pT2 tumors and sexual function at 12months associated with robot-assisted surgery in comparison with open surgery should be interpreted with caution given the limitations of the evidence. Differences between robot-assisted and conventional laparoscopic surgery are minimal. © 2013 The Japanese Urological Association.
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