Open or robotic prostate cancer surgery? World-first study finds little difference in outcomes


The Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand says a new study conducted by Australian urologists and published in The Lancet today, contributes important new evidence regarding robotic and open surgical techniques for treating prostate cancer, and showing both techniques to be equally effective.

Robotically-assisted radical prostatectomies are becoming increasingly popular in Australia but to date there have been no randomised controlled trials comparing the outcomes of the two approaches. The Queensland study, which compared the outcomes in 307 men 12 weeks after surgery, is a world-first.

The study showed no clear advantage of one technique over the other with no difference in urinary or sexual function. Recovery time, and the number of days away from work and complications were also the same.

The study found on average that patients who underwent open surgery lost more blood, however no transfusions were required. Robotic surgery patients experienced less pain immediately following their surgery although the differences in post-operative pain between the two groups were negligible at 12 weeks after surgery.

“There has been great interest in the findings of this study and it should help inform any discussion with patients about prostate cancer treatment,” said Professor Mark Frydenberg.

“While robotic surgery is an excellent option patients should be reassured by this study that either open or robotic surgery will bring equivalent benefits and patients without access to robotic surgery should not feel in any way disadvantaged or be concerned they will have an inferior outcome.

“Our view is that both robotic and open surgery are very valid treatments for prostate cancer but what is of most relevance to outcomes is the skill and experience of the surgeon.

“We look forward to further follow-up studies and congratulate the Queensland team for this important work,” said Professor Frydenberg.

Media enquiries or to arrange an interview with Professor Mark Frydenberg:

Please email Edwina Gatenby or call +61 402 130 254

Latest Tweets