Outcomes assessment in men undergoing open retropubic radical prostatectomy, laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, and robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy

Keith J. Kowalczyk, Hua yin Yu, William Ulmer, Stephen B. Williams, Jim C. Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

11 Scopus citations


Objectives: To review the various methods of outcomes assessment used for effectiveness studies comparing retropubic radical prostatectomy (RRP), laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP), and robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP). Methods: A review of the peer reviewed literature was performed for reported series of RRP, LRP, and RALP using Pubmed and MEDLINE with emphasis on comparing perioperative, functional, and oncologic outcomes. Common methods used for outcomes assessment were categorized and compared, highlighting the pros and cons of each approach. Results: The majority of the literature comparing RRP, LRP, and RALP comes in the form of observational data or administrative data from secondary datasets. While randomized controlled trials are ideal for outcomes assessment, only one such study was identified and was limited. Non-randomized observational studies contribute to the majority of data, however are limited due to retrospective study design, lack of consistent endpoints, and limited application to the general community. Administrative data provide accurate assessment of operative outcomes in both academic and community settings, however has limited ability to convey accurate functional outcomes. Conclusions: Non-randomized observational studies and secondary data are useful resources for assessment of outcomes; however, limitations exist for both. Neither is without flaws, and conclusions drawn from either should be viewed with caution. Until standardized prospective comparative analyses of RRP, LRP, and RALP are established, comparative outcomes data will remain imperfect. Urologic researchers must strive to provide the best available outcomes data through accurate prospective data collection and consistent outcomes reporting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-89
Number of pages5
JournalWorld Journal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012
Externally publishedYes



  • Minimally invasive
  • Outcomes
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radical prostatectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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