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Safer Surgery by Learning from Complications: A Focus on Robotic Prostate Surgery

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Sotelo R.J., Haese A., Machuca V., Medina L., Nuñez L., Santinelli F., Hernandez A., Riza A., Mottrie A., Giedelman C., Mirandolino M., Palmer K., Abaza R., Ghavamian R., Shalhav A., Moinzadeh A., Patel V., Stifelman M., Tuerk I., Canes D.

 

European Urology 2015

Background: The uptake of robotic surgery has led to changes in potential operative complications, as many surgeons learn minimally invasive surgery, and has allowed the documentation of such complications through the routine collection of intraoperative video. Objective: We documented intraoperative complications from robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) with the aim of reporting the mechanisms, etiology, and necessary steps to avoid them. Our goal was to facilitate learning from these complications to improve patient care. Design, setting, and participants: Contributors delivered videos of complications that occurred during laparoscopic and robotic prostatectomy between 2010 and 2015. Surgical procedure: Surgical footage was available for a variety of complications during RARP. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Based on these videos, a literature search was performed using relevant terms (prostatectomy, robotic, complications), and the intraoperative steps of the procedures and methods of preventing complications were outlined. Results and limitations: As a major surgical procedure, RARP has much potential for intra- and postoperative complications related to patient positioning, access, and the procedure itself. However, with a dedicated approach, increasing experience, a low index of suspicion, and strict adherence to safety measures, we suggest that the majority of such complications are preventable. Conclusions: Considering the complexity of the procedure, RARP is safe and reproducible for the surgical management of prostate cancer. Insight from experienced surgeons may allow surgeons to avoid complications during the learning curve. Patient summary: Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy has potential for intra- and postoperative complications, but with a dedicated approach, increasing experience, a low index of suspicion, and strict adherence to safety measures, most complications are preventable. Considering the complexity of the procedure, robot-assisted radical prostatectomy is safe and reproducible for the surgical management of prostate cancer. Insight from experienced surgeons may allow surgeons to avoid complications during the learning curve.

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