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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 298-303

Is robot-assisted radical cystectomy superior to standard open radical cystectomy? An Indian perspective

1 Department of Surgical Oncology, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Center, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Uro-oncology, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Center, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Urological Services, Max Superspeciality Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Dharma Ram
Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Center, New Delhi - 110 085
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmas.JMAS_150_17

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Introduction: Open radical cystectomy (ORC) has been the standard treatment for muscle-invasive bladder cancer, but this is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Robot-assisted radical cystectomy (RARC) has been proposed as minimally invasive alternative with improved morbidity and acceptable oncological outcomes, but a large series featuring RARC and their comparison with ORC is still lacking in India despite more than a decade of its inception. We have conducted this study with an objective to see the feasibility of RARC in the Indian context and compare it with contemporary standard. Methods: This is a prospective cohort study conducted at two tertiary cancer institutes. We have evaluated the patients pertaining to operative and early post-operative factors from January 2014 to December 2015. Necessary statistical tests applied to see comparability of the arms and their outcomes. Results: A total of 170 patients underwent surgery for carcinoma bladder (45 ORC while 125 RARC). Intraoperative blood loss (RARC and ORC: 228 and 529 ml) and average transfusion rate were lower with RARC. A trend towards benefit was noted in favour of robotic arm in terms of mean complication rate (RARC and ORC: 54 and 39%). Conclusions: The present study has shown comparable surgical and early post-operative outcomes with clear advantage of robotic approach in terms of intraoperative blood transfusion and lymph node yield. Although the study was non-randomised in nature, it should provide substantial evidence on safety and feasibility of RARC in the Indian context and a reference point of evidence to look ahead.


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