Cost comparison of robotic, laparoscopic, and open radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer

Eur Urol. 2010 Mar;57(3):453-8. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2009.11.008. Epub 2009 Nov 11.


Background: Demand and utilization of minimally invasive approaches to radical prostatectomy have increased in recent years, but comparative studies on cost are lacking.

Objective: To compare costs associated with robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RALP), laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP), and open retropubic radical prostatectomy (RRP).

Design, setting, and participants: The study included 643 consecutive patients who underwent radical prostatectomy (262 RALP, 220 LRP, and 161 RRP) between September 2003 and April 2008.

Measurements: Direct and component costs were compared. Costs were adjusted for changes over the time of the study.

Results and limitations: Disease characteristics (body mass index, preoperative prostate-specific antigen, prostate size, and Gleason sum score 8-10) were similar in the three groups. Nerve sparing was performed in 85% of RALP procedures, 96% of LRP procedures, and 90% of RRP procedures (p<0.001). Lymphadenectomy was more commonly performed in RRP (100%) compared to LRP (22%) and RALP (11%) (p<0.001). Mean length of hospital stay was higher for RRP than for LRP and RALP. The median direct cost was higher for RALP compared to LRP or RRP (RALP: $6752 [interquartile range (IQR): $6283-7369]; LRP: $5687 [IQR: $4941-5905]; RRP: $4437 [IQR: $3989-5141]; p<0.001). The main difference was in surgical supply cost (RALP: $2015; LRP: $725; RRP: $185) and operating room (OR) cost (RALP: $2798; LRP: $2453; RRP: $1611; p<0.001). When considering purchase and maintenance costs for the robot, the financial burden would increase by $2698 per patient, given an average of 126 cases per year.

Conclusions: RALP is associated with higher cost, predominantly due to increased surgical supply and OR costs. These costs may have a significant impact on overall cost of prostate cancer care.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / economics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatectomy / economics*
  • Prostatectomy / methods*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / economics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Robotics / economics*