Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) is a safe operation over the long term, indicate the results of a large study.

Urologist and robotic surgery expert Mani Menon, MD, and co-authors noted in their online report for European Urology that previous studies attempting to assess complications after RARP are limited by their small numbers, short follow-up, or lack of risk factor analysis. But this project allowed the data to be analyzed from 3,317 consecutive patients undergoing RARP at the Vattikuti Urology Institute at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit. The men were followed for a median of 24.2 months.

The study yielded the following information:

  • Median hospitalization time was 1 day.
  • The complication rate was 9.8% (368 complications in 326 men).
  • Of the complications, 242 were minor and 126 were major.  
  • A total of 289 surgical complications occurred in 264 men; 79 complications in 78 patients were medical.
  • The majority of complications (299, or 81.3%) occurred within 30 days postoperatively; 17 (4.6%) within 31 to 90 days postoperatively, and 52 (14.1%) after 90 days postoperatively.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that RARP is a safe operation.