This month’s issue of The Journal of Urology shares substantiating evidence of the role that institution selection and surgeon expertise play in robotic prostate surgery outcomes. In a comparison of academic and non-academic hospitals the study found significantly improved results in patients who underwent prostate cancer surgery at hospitals affiliated with academic institutions. Compared to non-academic hospitals, they required fewer blood transfusions, had shorter hospital stays and experienced fewer post-surgical complications.
Robotic prostatectomy surgical outcome data was provided by U.S hospital database, The National Inpatient Study. Their data indicated close to 90,000 robotic prostatectomy procedures from 2001-2007, nearly 60 percent of which were performed at academic hospitals. While the researchers do not claim academic hospitals provide better care universally, they draw specific conclusions about improved results in robotic prostatectomy surgery.
Minimally invasive robotic prostatectomy surgery is a leading treatment option for men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer.
At The Mount Sinai Medical Center leading prostatectomy expert, Dr. David Samadi, is using his own SMART (Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique) procedure to expertly remove cancerous prostates while sparing the surrounding nerve bundles. His track record includes over 3,600 successful procedures, excellent cure rates and minimal side effects.
The study concluded two key success factors in robotic surgery academics and volume. Rates for blood transfusions, hospital stays and post-surgical complications were better in patients who underwent surgery at academic institutions. Further, hospitals with higher annual caseloads showed superior results in all three areas, plus fewer intraoperative complications.
Dr. Samadi is encouraged by these findings. “For years, we’ve been discussing the importance of choosing the right hospital and the right surgeon,” he says. “Success in robotic prostatectomy surgery isn’t as simple as having the right equipment. Robotic surgery, particularly with the delicate prostate area, takes repetition and dedication to perfect.” Dr. Samadi’s own methodology involves careful techniques to preserve urinary control and sexual potency.
Researchers in this study believe more stringent patient evaluation and selection play a key role in the improved performance of academic institutions with regard to this particular procedure. Access to advanced technology and strict adherence to medical guidelines are also likely to contribute to their success rates.
“This is not the first study to report on the advantages of academic institutions and surgeon expertise,” said Dr. Samadi. “Patients must do their homework when choosing a surgeon. Gone are the days of settling for the closest hospital or sticking with your father’s urologist. Today, patients have access to a world of information to guide their choices. And no choice is more important than who to entrust with your life.”
Dr. Samadi is Vice Chairman, Department of Urology, and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, which ranked among the Top 20 Best Medical Schools by U.S. News & World Report just last year.
Robotic Prostate Surgery