Introduction: Robotically assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is a minimally invasive alternative for the treatment of prostate cancer. We report the histopathologic and short term PSA outcomes of 500 robotic prostatectomies. Materials and Methods: Five hundred patients underwent robotic radical prostatectomy. The procedure was performed via a six trocar transperitoneal technique. Prostatectomy specimens were analyzed for TNM Stage, Gleason's grade, tumor location, volume, specimen weight, seminal vesicle involvement and margin status. A positive margin was reported if cancer cells were found at the inked specimen margin. PSA data was collected every three months for the first year, then every six months for a year, then yearly. Results: Average pre-operative PSA was 6.9 (1-90) with Gleason's score of 5 (2%), 6 (52%), 7 (40%), 8 (4%), 9(2%). Post operatively histopathologic analysis showed Gleason's 6 (44%), 7(42%), 8(10%), 9(4%). 10%, 5%, 63%, 15%, 5% and 2% had pathologic stage T2a, T2b, T2c, T3a, T3b and T4 respectively. Positive margin rate was 9.4% for the entire series. The positive margin rate per 100 cases was: 13% (1-100), 8% (101-200), 13% (201-300), 5% (301-400) and 8% (401-500). By stage it was 2%, 4%, 2.5% for T2a, T2b, T2c tumors, 23% (T3a), 46% (T3b) and 53% (T4a). For organ confined disease (T2) the margin rate was 2.5% and 31% for non organ confined disease. There were a total of 47 positive margins, 26 (56%) posterolateral, 4 (8.5%) apical, 4 (8.5%) bladder neck, 2 (4%) seminal vesicle and 11 (23%) multifocally. Ninety five percent of patients (n=500) have undetectable PSA (<0.1) at average follow up of 9.7 months. Recurrence has only been seen with non organ confined tumors. Those patients with a minimum follow up of 1 year (average 15.7 months) 95% have undetectable PSA (<.1). Conclusion: Our initial experience with robotic radical prostatectomy is promising. Histopathologic outcomes are acceptable with a low overall margin positive rate. Short term biochemical recurrence free survival has also been good. We believe that the precise dissection allowed by the advantages of laparoscopic robotic surgery will translate into excellent long term oncologic outcomes.
Objectives: To evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of robotic-assisted laparoscopic pyeloplasty. Laparoscopic pyeloplasty has been shown to have a success rate comparable to that of the open surgical approach. However, the steep learning curve has hindered its acceptance into mainstream urologic practice. The introduction of robotic assistance provides advantages that have the potential to facilitate precise dissection and intracorporeal suturing. Methods: A total of 50 patients underwent robotic-assisted laparoscopic dismembered pyeloplasty. A four-trocar technique was used. Most patients were discharged home on day 1, with stent removal at 3 weeks. Patency of the ureteropelvic junction was assessed in all patients with mercaptotriglycylglycine Lasix renograms at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months, then every 6 months for 1 year, and then yearly. Results: Each patient underwent a successful procedure without open conversion or transfusion. The average estimated blood loss was 40 ml. The operative time averaged 122 minutes (range 60 to 330) overall. Crossing vessels were present in 30% of the patients and were preserved in all cases. The time for the anastomosis averaged 20 minutes (range 10 to 100). Intraoperatively, no complications occurred. Postoperatively, the average hospital stay was 1.1 days. The stents were removed at an average of 20 days (range 14 to 28) postoperatively. The average follow-up was 11.7 months; at the last follow-up visit, each patient was doing well. Of the 50 patients, 48 underwent one or more renograms, demonstrating stable renal function, improved drainage, and no evidence of recurrent obstruction. Conclusions: Robotic-assisted laparoscopic pyeloplasty is a feasible technique for ureteropelvic junction reconstruction. The procedure provides a minimally invasive alternative with good short-term results.
Introduction: After performing 1,000 robotic prostatectomies we reflected back on our experience to determine what defined the learning curve and the essential elements that were the keys to surmounting it. Method: We retrospectively assessed our experience to attempt to define the learning curve(s), key elements of the procedure, technical refinements and changes in technology that facilitated our progress. Result: The initial learning curve to achieve basic competence and the ability to smoothly perform the procedure in less than 4 hours with acceptable outcomes was approximately 25 cases. A second learning curve was present between 75-100 cases as we approached more complicated patients. At 200 cases we were comfortably able to complete the procedure routinely in less than 2.5 hours with no specific step of the procedure hindering our progression. At 500 cases we had the introduction of new instrumentation (4th arm, biopolar Maryland, monopolar scissors) that changed our approach to the bladder neck and neurovascular bundle dissection. The most challenging part of the procedure was the bladder neck dissection. Conclusion: There is no single parameter that can be used to assess or define the learning curve. We used a combination of factors to make our subjective definition this included: operative time, smoothness of technical progression during the case along with clinical outcomes. The further our case experience progressed the more we expected of our outcomes, thus we continually modified our technique and hence embarked upon yet a new learning curve.
OBJECTIVE: With the increased utility of complex imaging modalities small renal tumors are being diagnosed with rising frequency. We performed radiofrequency ablation to treat tumors less than 4cm in size using a combination of temperature, impedance, ultrasound and laparoscopic guidance. In this article we reviewed the outcome of radiofrequency ablation of renal tumors at one year at our institution. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Over a three-year period 75 patients with a total of 93 renal tumors underwent radiofrequency ablation. Average patient age was 64.5 years with ASA of 2.9. Indications for nephron sparing were imperative in 33 (solitary kidney 21, renal insufficiency 12). Seventeen patients had significant co-morbidities with ASA score of 3 or more and were thought to be poor candidates for nephrectomy or partial nephrectomy. Five were Jehovah's Witness patients. Average tumor size was 3.2 cm (1.5-4.0). 60% of the tumors were exophytic and 40% deep. Radiofrequency ablation was performed via a transperitoneal approach using the single pronged 3cm Cool tip electrode (Radionics Inc). Tumor was isolated laparoscopically. Prior to ablation the lesions were biopsied. Ablation was performed using both laparoscopic and real-time ultrasound imaging of the boarders of the tumor. During ablation impedance and temperature monitoring was performed. For each tumor two separate ablations were performed at perpendicular angles, the first ablation was for 6 minutes and the second for 3 minutes. The center and periphery of the tumor was monitored to insure that the temperature rose above 70 degrees Celsius. Patients were followed at three-month intervals with triple phase CT scan or MRI to evaluate efficacy of the ablation. Our criteria for recurrent tumor were growth or enhancement of the lesion. RESULTS: Average operative time was 109 minutes with and average EBL of <25cc. Mean hospital stay was 1.4 days. At average follow up of 19.2 months (range 2-24), one lesion showed evidence of tumor recurrence which was corrected surgically. Two masses did show some mild enhancement on CT 6 months post operatively, biopsies showed no evidence of tumor with fibrosis. Of the patients with follow up of greater than 12 months 75% had decreasing size of the lesion, 25% had no change in size. No complications were seen. CONCLUSIONS: Radiofrequency ablation of renal tumors is a feasible alternative for patients that have imperative indication for nephron sparing surgery or those that have significant co-morbidities. The procedure is expedient, efficacious and carries minimal morbidity. It is of extreme importance to follow these patients closely with imaging of the lesion on a frequent basis.