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Overcoming the challenges of robot-assisted radical prostatectomy

Abstract

Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) is the most commonly performed robotic procedure worldwide and is firmly established as a standard treatment option for localised prostate cancer. Part of the explanation for the rapid uptake of RARP is the reported gentler learning curve compared with the challenges of laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP). However, robotic surgery is still fraught with potential difficulties and avoiding complications while on the steepest part of the learning curve is critical. Furthermore, as surgeons progress there is a tendency to take on increasingly complex cases, including patients with difficult anatomy and prior surgery, and these cases present a unique challenge. Significant intra-abdominal adhesions may be identified following open surgery, or dense periprostatic inflammation may be encountered following TURP; large prostate gland size and median lobes may alter bladder neck anatomy, making difficult subsequent urethro-vesical anastomosis. Even experienced robotic surgeons will be challenged by salvage RARP. Approaching these problems in a structured manner allows many of the problems to be overcome. We discuss some of the specific techniques to deal with these potential difficulties and highlight ways to avoid making serious mistakes.

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Correspondence to M A Goldstraw.

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Goldstraw, M., Challacombe, B., Patil, K. et al. Overcoming the challenges of robot-assisted radical prostatectomy. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 15, 1–7 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/pcan.2011.37

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/pcan.2011.37

Keywords

  • robot
  • radical
  • prostatectomy
  • troubleshoot
  • failure
  • adhesions

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