Effect of surgeon experience and bony pelvic dimensions on surgical performance and patient outcomes in robot-assisted radical prostatectomy

Jian Chen, Tiffany Chu, Saum Ghodoussipour, Sean Bowman, Heetabh Patel, Kevin King, Andrew J Hung
BJU International 2019 July 2

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effects of surgeon experience, body habitus, and bony pelvic dimensions on surgeon performance and patient outcomes after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP).

PATIENTS, SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The pelvic dimensions of 78 RARP patients were measured on preoperative magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography by three radiologists. Surgeon automated performance metrics (APMs [instrument motion tracking and system events data, i.e., camera movement, third-arm swap, energy use]) were obtained by a systems data recorder (Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, CA, USA) during RARP. Two analyses were performed: Analysis 1, examined effects of patient characteristics, pelvic dimensions and prior surgeon RARP caseload on APMs using linear regression; Analysis 2, the effects of patient body habitus, bony pelvic measurement, and surgeon experience on short- and long-term outcomes were analysed by multivariable regression.

RESULTS: Analysis 1 showed that while surgeon experience affected the greatest number of APMs (P < 0.044), the patient's body mass index, bony pelvic dimensions, and prostate size also affected APMs during each surgical step (P < 0.043, P < 0.046, P < 0.034, respectively). Analysis 2 showed that RARP duration was significantly affected by pelvic depth (β = 13.7, P = 0.039) and prostate volume (β = 0.5, P = 0.024). A wider and shallower pelvis was less likely to result in a positive margin (odds ratio 0.25, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.09-0.72). On multivariate analysis, urinary continence recovery was associated with surgeon's prior RARP experience (hazard ratio [HR] 2.38, 95% CI 1.18-4.81; P = 0.015), but not on pelvic dimensions (HR 1.44, 95% CI 0.95-2.17).

CONCLUSION: Limited surgical workspace, due to a narrower and deeper pelvis, does affect surgeon performance and patient outcomes, most notably in longer surgery time and an increased positive margin rate.


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