Perioperative Outcomes, Health Care Costs, and Survival After Robotic-assisted Versus Open Radical Cystectomy: A National Comparative Effectiveness Study.

Journal European Urology
Authors Hu, Jim C; Chughtai, Bilal; O’Malley, Padraic; Halpern, Joshua A; Mao, Jialin; Scherr, Douglas S; Hershman, Dawn L; Wright, Jason D; Sedrakyan, Art
Year Published 2016
Link to article


BACKGROUND: Radical cystectomy is the gold-standard management for muscle-invasive bladder cancer, and there is debate concerning the comparative effectiveness of robotic-assisted (RARC) versus open radical cystectomy (ORC).

OBJECTIVE: To compare utilization, perioperative, cost, and survival outcomes of RARC versus ORC.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: We identified bladder urothelial carcinoma treated with RARC (n=439) or ORC (n=7308) during 2002-2012 using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program-Medicare linked data.

INTERVENTION: Comparison of RARC versus ORC.

OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: We used propensity score matching to compare perioperative and survival outcomes, including lymph node yield, perioperative complications, and healthcare costs.

RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: Utilization of RARC increased from 0.7% of radical cystectomies in 2002 to 18.5% in 2012 (p<0.001). Women comprised 13.9% versus 18.1% (p=0.007) of RARC versus ORC, respectively. RARC was associated with greater lymph node yield with 41.5% versus 34.9% having ≥10 lymph nodes removed (relative risk 1.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01-1.22, p=0.03) and shorter mean length of hospitalization at 10.1 (± standard deviation 7.1) d versus 11.2 (± 8.6) d (p=0.004). While inpatient costs were similar, RARC was associated with increased home healthcare utilization (relative risk 1.14, 95% CI 1.04-1.26, p=0.009) and higher 30-d (p<0.01) and 90-d (p<0.01) costs. With a median follow-up of 44 mo (interquartile range 16-78), overall survival (hazard ratio 0.88, 95% CI 0.74-1.05) and cancer-specific survival (hazard ratio 0.91, 95% CI 0.66-1.26) were similar. CONCLUSIONS: RARC provides equivalent perioperative and intermediate term outcomes to ORC. Additional long-term and randomized studies are needed for continued comparative effectiveness assessment of RARC versus ORC.

PATIENT SUMMARY: Our population-based US study demonstrates that robotic-assisted radical cystectomy has similar perioperative and survival outcomes albeit at higher costs.