Deutsch (DE-CH-AT)English (United Kingdom)

More side effects after robot-assisted surgery

The modern robot-assisted surgery, which was unbiased accepted as a treatment option without distress for the patient, proves to have more side effects than has been advocated so far. Thus, the most recent cohort study1 published in the Journal of American Medical Association - JAMA, shows that robotic surgery can increase the rate of complications, such as impotence and incontinence. In spite of the less invasive technique, these complications are even more pronounced after robotic-assisted surgery than after standard surgical therapies for localized prostate cancer. The results of the study show that the rate of incontinence after a robotic surgery increase to 24 percent and the erectile dysfunction increases to 29 percent
Steep learning curve

An additional focus in the debate of robotic-assisted surgery is on the extensive experience a surgeon must have when performing a robot-assisted removal of the prostate. “The learning curve for the robotic surgery is rather steep”, emphasizes the leader of the study Dr. Jim Hu. “Optimal results can generally only be reached after 150 to 200 operations. In contrast, the legal requirements to become a specialist for this high technical method are rather low. For example, surgeons in the US are only required to participate in a two-day course before they are allowed to perform the surgery, at first under the supervision of an experienced surgeon and later independently


1 Jim C. Hu, MD, MPH; Xiangmei Gu, MS; Stuart R. Lipsitz, ScD; Michael J. Barry, MD; Anthony V. D’Amico, MD, PhD; Aaron C. Weinberg, MD; Nancy L. Keating, MD, MPH: Comparative Effectiveness of Minimally Invasive vs Open Radical Prostatectomy; JAMA. 2009;302(14):1557-1564.

  • PDF
  • Print
  • E-mail