Clipless Robotic-assisted Radical Prostatectomy and Impact on Outcomes.

TitleClipless Robotic-assisted Radical Prostatectomy and Impact on Outcomes.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsBasourakos SP, Lewicki PJ, Ramaswamy A, Cheng E, Dudley V, Yu M, Karir B, Hung AJ, Khani F, Hu JC
JournalEur Urol Focus
Date Published2021 Jul 07

BACKGROUND: The use of surgical clips for athermal dissection of the lateral prostatic pedicles and ligation during pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND) while performing robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) has been the gold standard. Clips are used to prevent thermal injury of the unmyelinated nerve fibers and lymphceles, respectively.

OBJECTIVE: To compare oncological and functional outcomes of a new technique of clipless, lateral pedicle control and PLND with RARP with bipolar energy (RARP-bi) versus the standard RARP technique with clips (RARP-c).

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A retrospective study was conducted among 338 men who underwent RARP between July 2018 and March 2020.


MEASUREMENTS: We prospectively collected data and retrospectively compared demographic, clinicopathological, and functional outcome data. Urinary as well as sexual function was assessed using the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index for Clinical Practice, and complications were assessed using Clavien-Dindo grading. Multivariable regression modeling was used to examine whether the technical approach of RARP-bi versus RARP-c was associated with positive surgical margins (PSMs) or sexual and urinary function scores.

RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: A total of 144 (43%) and 194 (57%) men underwent RARP-bi and RARP-c, respectively. Overall, there were no differences in functional and oncological outcomes between the two approaches. On multivariable regression analysis, the RARP-bi technique was not associated with significant differences in PSMs (odds ratio [OR] = 1.04, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.6-1.8; p = 0.9), sexual function (OR = 0.4, 95% CI 0.1-1.5; p = 0.8), or urinary function (OR = 0.5, 95% CI 0.2-1.4; p = 0.2). The overall 30-d complication rates (12% vs 16%, p = 0.5) and bladder neck contracture rates (2.1% vs 3.6%, p = 0.5) were similar between the two groups. There was no difference in lymphocele complications (1.4% vs 0.52%, p = 0.58). All complications were of Clavien-Dindo grade I-II.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the concerns for an increased risk of nerve injury secondary to the use of bipolar energy for prostatic pedicle dissection, we demonstrate that this technique is oncologically and functionally similar to the standard approach with surgical clips. There was no difference in complications or lymphocele formation for techniques with versus without clips.

PATIENT SUMMARY: We describe a modified technique for prostatic pedicle dissection during robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy, which utilizes bipolar energy and is associated with shorter operative time, without compromising functional or oncological outcomes.

Alternate JournalEur Urol Focus
PubMed ID34246618
Related Faculty: 
Francesca Khani, M.D.

Pathology & Laboratory Medicine 1300 York Avenue New York, NY 10065 Phone: (212) 746-6464
Surgical Pathology: (212) 746-2700