Contemporary referral pattern for robotic prostatectomy

Academic Article


  • Background and Objectives: In spite of the current widespread application of robotic surgery in the treatment of prostate cancer, it remains unclear whether current patterns of use are based on patient benefit or driven by marketing. We sought to investigate this possibility by analyzing the source of our patient population for robotassisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP). Methods: We reviewed 200 consecutive patients who underwent robotic prostatectomy by a single surgeon (RA) at our institution. The source of referral for each patient was analyzed along with individual patient characteristics to identify whether only low-risk or unusually ideal candidates were referred. Results: Of the 200 patients, 90.5% were referred by a urologist with only 5.5% being referred by another urologist at our institution. Only 10 patients cited media or marketing sources as the reason for self-referral, and <10 were referred by primary care physicians or other acquaintances. This referral pattern did not change between the first and second 100 patients. Referred patients included those up to 80 years of age, up to 51kg/m2 in body mass index, and up to Gleason 9 on biopsy, with 36% of those referred by urologists having some history of previous abdominal or prostate surgery. Conclusion: The referral pattern for RALP at our institution may reflect a growing acceptance of robotic surgery among urologists in our region and is unlikely driven by patient-directed marketing. Additionally, urologists may also be more confident in the role of RALP as evidenced by their referral of even complex and higherrisk patients. © 2010 by JSLS, Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Dangle PP; Abaza R
  • Start Page

  • 516
  • End Page

  • 519
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 4