The popularity of minimally invasive radical prostatectomy (MIRP) has risen despite lack of data on outcomes and higher costs compared with open retropubic radical prostatectomy (RRP), say US researchers. This population-based observational study compared outcomes among men with prostate cancer who underwent MIRP (n = 1,938) with those who had RRP (n = 6,899). Men who underwent MIRP had shorter hospital stays (median two versus three days for RRP), fewer respiratory and miscellaneous surgical complications and strictures, and a similar postoperative use of additional cancer therapies. However, they experienced more genitourinary complications (4.7 per cent versus 2.1 per cent for RRP), incontinence (15.9 versus 12.2 per 100 person-years) and erectile dysfunction (26.8 versus 19.2 per 100 person-years) than men who had RRP.

Hu JC, Gu X, Lipsitz SR et al. JAMA 2009;302(14):1557-64

Originally published in the December 2009 edition of MIMS Oncology & Palliative Care.