Objectives: To assess the surgery-related complications at robot-assisted radical cystectomy with total intracorporeal urinary diversion during our learning curve in treating 45 patients with bladder cancer.
Methods: A total of 45 patients were pooled in 3 consecutive groups of 15 cases each to evaluate the complications according to the Clavien classification. As a surrogate for our learning curve, the following parameters were assessed: operative time, blood loss, urinary diversion type, lymph node yield, surgical margin status, and length of hospital stay.
Results: Early surgery-related complications were noted in 40% of the patients and late complications in 30%. The early Clavien grade III complications remained significant (27%) and did not decline with time. Overall, fewer complications were observed between the groups over time, with a significant decrease in late versus early complications (P = .005 and P = .058). The mean operative times declined from the first group to the second and third groups (P = .005) and the hospital stays shortened (P = .006). No significant difference was observed between groups regarding the lymph node yield at cystectomy (P = .108), with a mean of 22.5 nodes (range 10-52) removed. More patients received an orthotopic bladder substitute (Studer) in each of the latter 2 groups than in the first.
Conclusions: Although robot-assisted radical cystectomy with total intracorporeal urinary diversion is a complex procedure, we observed decreased surgery-related complications and improved outcomes over time in the present series. Our results need to be confirmed by others before robot-assisted radical cystectomy with totally intracorporeal urinary diversion can be accepted as a treatment option for patients with bladder cancer.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.