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Robotic surgery improves transfusion rate and perioperative outcomes using a broad implementation process and multiple surgeon learning curves.

INTRODUCTION: Data from a randomized trial suggest transfusion rates are similar for robotic and open prostatectomy. The objective of this study was to compare perioperative outcomes of robotic and open prostatectomy at a Canadian academic centre.

METHODS: A retrospective review of all prostatectomies performed by all surgeons at The Ottawa Hospital between 2009 and 2016 was completed. Cases and outcomes were identified using an administrative data warehouse. Extracted data included patient factors (age, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, Elixhauser comorbidity score), operative factors (length of operation, surgical approach, anesthesia type), and perioperative outcomes (length of recovery room and hospital stay, transfusion rate, hospital cost). Baseline characteristics and outcomes were compared between robotic and open surgical approaches. The primary outcome was transfusion during the index admission.

RESULTS: A total of 1606 prostatectomies were performed by 12 surgeons during the study period (840 robotic, 766 open). The rate of transfusion was lower in patients undergoing robotic compared to open surgery (0.6% vs. 11.2%; p<0.001). The robotic prostatectomy cohort had a shorter length of stay in the recovery room (155.7 vs. 231.1 minutes; p<0.001) and shorter length of hospital admission (1.4 vs. 2.8 days; p<0.001). Hospital costs per case were approximately $800 more for robotic prostatectomy ($11 475 vs. $10 656; p<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: This hospital-wide analysis revealed that robotic prostatectomy is associated with a lower transfusion rate compared to the open approach. Further studies emphasizing patient-reported outcomes are needed.

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