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Perioperative Outcomes of Robotic and Laparoscopic Simple Prostatectomy: A European–American Multi-institutional Analysis

Take home message

Simple prostatectomy can be performed safely and effectively in a minimally invasive fashion by using a standard or robot-assisted laparoscopic approach in a variety of healthcare settings. This procedure can be considered a viable surgical treatment for bladder outlet obstruction resulting from a large prostate gland.

Publication: European Urology, Volume 68, Issue 1, July 2015, Pages 86-94

PII: S0302-2838(14)01236-6

DOI: 10.1016/j.eururo.2014.11.044


Laparoscopic and robotic simple prostatectomy (SP) have been introduced with the aim of reducing the morbidity of the standard open technique.


To report a large multi-institutional series of minimally invasive SP (MISP).

Design, setting, and participants

Consecutive cases of MISP done for the treatment of bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) due to benign prostatic enlargement (BPE) between 2000 and 2014 at 23 participating institutions in the Americas and Europe were included in this retrospective analysis.


Laparoscopic or robotic SP.

Outcome measurements and statistical analysis

Demographic data and main perioperative outcomes were gathered and analyzed. A multivariable analysis was conducted to identify factors associated with a favorable trifecta outcome, arbitrarily defined as a combination of the following postoperative events: International Prostate Symptom Score <8, maximum flow rate >15 ml/s, and no perioperative complications.

Results and limitations

Overall, 1330 consecutive cases were analyzed, including 487 robotic (36.6%) and 843 laparoscopic (63.4%) SP cases. Median overall prostate volume was 100 ml (range: 89–128). Median estimated blood loss was 200 ml (range: 150–300). An intraoperative transfusion was required in 3.5% of cases, an intraoperative complication was recorded in 2.2% of cases, and the conversion rate was 3%. Median length of stay was 4 d (range: 3–5). On pathology, prostate cancer was found in 4% of cases. Overall postoperative complication rate was 10.6%, mostly of low grade. At a median follow-up of 12 mo, a significant improvement was observed for subjective and objective indicators of BOO. Trifecta outcome was not significantly influenced by the type of procedure (robotic vs laparoscopic; p = 0.136; odds ratio [OR]: 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.8–2.9), whereas operative time (p = 0.01; OR: 0.9; 95% CI, 0.9–1.0) and estimated blood loss (p = 0.03; OR: 0.9; 95% CI, 0.9–1.0) were the only two significant factors. Retrospective study design, lack of a control arm, and limited follow-up represent major limitations of the present analysis.


This study provides the largest outcome analysis reported for MISP for BOO/BPE. These findings confirm that SP can be safely and effectively performed in a minimally invasive fashion in a variety of healthcare settings in which specific surgical expertise and technology is available. MISP can be considered a viable surgical treatment in cases of large prostatic adenomas. The use of robotic technology for this indication can be considered in centers that have a robotic program in place for other urologic indications.

Patient summary

Analysis of a large data set from multiple institutions shows that surgical removal of symptomatic large prostatic adenomas can be carried out with good outcomes by using robot-assisted laparoscopy.