Tag Archive for: Robotic Surgery

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Article of the week: Single-port robot assisted radical prostatectomy (SP-RARP): a systematic review and pooled analysis of the preliminary experiences

This is the final Article of the Week selected by the outgoing Editor-in-Chief from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

If you only have time to read one article this week, we recommend this one. 

Single‐port robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy: a systematic review and pooled analysis of the preliminary experiences

Enrico Checcucci*, Sabrina De Cillis*, Angela Pecoraro*, Dario Peretti*, Gabriele Volpi*, Daniele Amparore*, Federico Piramide*, Alberto Piana*, Matteo Manfredi*, Cristian Fiori*, Riccardo Autorino, Prokar Dasgupta, Francesco Porpiglia* and on behalf of the Uro-technology and SoMe Working Group of the Young Academic Urologists Working Party of the European Association of Urology

*Department of Urology, San Luigi Gonzaga Hospital, University of Turin, Turin, Italy, Division of Urology, VCU Health, Richmond, VA, USA, and King’s College London, Guy’s Hospital, London, UK

Abstract

Objective

To summarize the clinical experiences with single‐port (SP) robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) reported in the literature and to describe the peri‐operative and short‐term outcomes of this procedure.

Material and Methods

A systematic review of the literature was performed in December 2019 using Medline (via PubMed), Embase (via Ovid), Cochrane databases, Scopus and Web of Science (PROSPERO registry number 164129). All studies that reported intra‐ and peri‐operative data on SP‐RARP were included. Cadaveric series and perineal or partial prostatectomy series were excluded.

The da Vinci SP robotic platform

Results

The pooled mean operating time, estimated blood loss, length of hospital stay and catheterization time were 190.55 min, 198.4 mL, 1.86 days and 8.21 days, respectively. The pooled mean number of lymph nodes removed was 8.33, and the pooled rate of positive surgical margins was 33%. The pooled minor complication rate was 15%. Only one urinary leakage and one major complication (transient ischaemic attack) were recorded. Regarding functional outcomes, pooled continence and potency rates at 12 weeks were 55% and 42%, respectively.

Conclusions

The present analysis confirms that SP‐RARP is safe and feasible. This novel robotic platform resulted in similar intra‐operative and peri‐operative outcomes to those obtained with the standard multiport da Vinci system. The advantages of single incision can be translated into a preservation of the patient’s body image and self‐esteem and cosmesis, which have a great impact on a patient’s quality of life.

Article of the week: Symptom relief and anejaculation after aquablation or transurethral resection of the prostate: subgroup analysis from a blinded randomized trial

Every week, the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. These are intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation. 

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Symptom relief and anejaculation after aquablation or transurethral resection of the prostate: subgroup analysis from a blinded randomized trial

Mark Plante1, Peter Gilling2, Neil Barber3, Mohamed Bidair4, Paul Anderson5, Mark Sutton6, Tev Aho7, Eugene Kramolowsky8, Andrew Thomas9, Barrett Cowan10, Ronald P. Kaufman Jr11, Andrew Trainer12, Andrew Arther12, Gopal Badlani13, Mihir Desai14, Leo Doumanian14, Alexis E. Te15, Mark DeGuenther16 and Claus Roehrborn17

 

1University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington, VT, USA, 2Tauranga Urology Research, Tauranga, New Zealand, 3Frimley Park Hospital, Frimley Health Foundation Trust, Surrey, UK, 4San Diego Clinical Trials, San Diego, CA, USA, 5Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Vic., Australia, 6Houston Metro Urology, Houston, TX, USA, 7Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals, Cambridge, UK, 8Virginia Urology, Richmond, VA, USA, 9Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, Wales, UK, 10Urology Associates, P.C., Englewood, CO, 11Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, 12Adult Pediatric Urology and Urogynecology, P.C., Omaha, NE, 13Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, 14Institute of Urology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 15Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, 16Urology Centers of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, and 17Department of Urology, UT Southwestern Medical Center, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX, USA

 

Abstract

Objective

To test the hypothesis that benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) robotic surgery with aquablation would have a more pronounced benefit in certain patient subgroups, such as men with more challenging anatomies (e.g. large prostates, large middle lobes) and men with moderate BPH.

Methods

We conducted prespecified and post hoc exploratory subgroup analyses from a double‐blind, multicentre prospective randomized controlled trial that compared transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) using either standard electrocautery vs surgery using robotic waterjet (aquablation) to determine whether certain baseline factors predicted more marked responses after aquablation as compared with TURP. The primary efficacy endpoint was reduction in International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) at 6 months. The primary safety endpoint was the occurrence of Clavien–Dindo persistent grade 1 or grade ≥2 surgical complications.

Results

For men with larger prostates (50–80 g), the mean IPSS reduction was four points greater after aquablation than after TURP (P = 0.001), a larger difference than the overall result (1.8 points; P = 0.135). Similarly, the primary safety endpoint difference (20% vs 46% [26% difference]; P = 0.008) was greater for men with large prostate compared with the overall result (26% vs 42% [16% difference]; P = 0.015). Postoperative anejaculation was also less common after aquablation compared with TURP in sexually active men with large prostates (2% vs 41%; P < 0.001) vs the overall results (10% vs 36%; P < 0.001). Exploratory analysis showed larger IPSS changes after aquablation in men with enlarged middle lobes, men with severe middle lobe obstruction, men with a low baseline maximum urinary flow rate, and men with elevated (>100) post‐void residual urine volume.

Conclusions

In men with moderate‐to‐severe lower urinary tract symptoms attributable to BPH and larger, more complex prostates, aquablation was associated with both superior symptom score improvements and a superior safety profile, with a significantly lower rate of postoperative anejaculation. The standardized, robotically executed, surgical approach with aquablation may overcome the increased outcome variability in more complex anatomy, resulting in superior symptom score reduction.

Editorial: A novel robotic procedure for bladder outlet obstruction

We have become used to talking about robotic surgery in urology when we really mean robot‐assisted surgery. The novel aquablation procedure (AquaBeam®) for bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) described by Plante et al. [1] is executed by a robotically controlled waterjet system, conducting a pre‐planned image‐guided resection once the radiological parameters have been entered into the system. This is performed under real‐time ultrasonography guidance. It will deliver a standardized way of carrying out the surgery and will, to a large extent, take away the surgical learning curve whilst introducing a new imaging learning curve.

The present study [1] is an analysis of pre‐planned and exploratory subsets of patients from the WATER study [2], and confirms data from earlier studies [3,4]. The study suggests that, compared with TURP, aquablation is particularly effective in improving both LUTS and bother in the medium‐sized to larger prostate (50–80 mL) and in potentially more challenging prostates such as those with large middle lobes or middle lobe obstruction (judged at pre‐procedure cystoscopy).

It is suggested that the ability to map the resection plane surgically may enable the preservation of key anatomical landmarks and preserve normal sexual function. In this study, anejaculation occurred in only 2% of patients with larger prostates (>50 mL) in the aquablation group compared with 41% of comparable patients undergoing TURP (P < 0.001). The rate of anejaculation however appeared relatively higher in the overall aquablation group, at 10%, compared with 36% in the overall TURP group (P < 0.001). A prostate volume between 30 and 80 mL was an inclusion criterion for the WATER study. This procedure therefore appears to give the best possible rate of anejaculation in a resective surgical intervention in patients with a larger prostate and may have less advantage in patients with a smaller prostate.

Interestingly, the relative overall symptom relief advantage of aquablation over TURP was also not proven in men with smaller prostates; TURP may be equally effective at removing obstructing tissue in smaller as compared to larger prostates. It is not yet clear whether aquablation would not be recommended for prostates below a certain size. In the more recent WATER II study in 101 men with a mean prostate volume of 107 mL, aquablation was also shown to be feasible and safe in men with large prostates (80–150 mL) [5].

There will always be a possible downside to novel treatments and this may relate to poor radiological data entry which may, in turn, lead to sphincter damage, although this has not been an issue in the carefully controlled studies to date. There are also reports of troublesome postoperative bleeding in some cases, although haemostasis can be effectively achieved via a catheter balloon tamponade and traction device or by electrocautery [5,6].

Unlike most other surgical treatments for BOO, the resection times for aquablation are almost independent of prostate volume, although the overall operating time is similar to that of TURP, with the majority of the time being spent in the set up and image planning.

The principal study (WATER) [2] on which this sub‐analysis by Plante et al. is based is an example of a high‐quality randomized controlled trial but still represents data on only 116 patients undergoing aquablation and 65 undergoing TURP; therefore, more randomized controlled trial data and long‐term effectiveness studies are clearly needed. Formal urodynamic studies and trials in patients with even larger prostates would also be appropriate. In addition, there are still few published data on the cost‐effectiveness of aquablation, although it is likely to be in the range of higher‐cost laser ablation therapies.

With better radiology and machine learning or artificial intelligence, this technique may lead to truly standardized BOO surgery with more complete resection and may thereby reduce outcome variability.

References

  1. Plante, MGilling, PBarber, N et al. Symptom relief and anejaculation after aquablation or transurethral resection of the prostate: subgroup analysis from a blinded randomized trial. BJU Int 2019123651– 60
  2. Gilling, PBarber, NBidair, M et al. WATER: a double‐blind, randomized, controlled trial of Aquablation® vs transurethral resection of the prostate in benign prostatic hyperplasia. J Urol 20181991252– 61
  3. Gilling, PReuther, RKahokehr, A et al. Aquablation ‐ image‐guided robot‐assisted waterjet ablation of the prostate: initial clinical experience. BJU Int 2016117923– 9
  4. Gilling, PAnderson, PTan, AAquablation of the prostate for symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia: 1‐year results. J Urol 20171971565– 72
  5. Desai, MBidair, MBhojani, N et al. WATER II (80‐150 mL) procedural outcomes. BJU Int 2019;123106– 12
  6. Aljuri, NGilling, PRoehrborn, CHow I do it: balloon tamponade of prostatic fossa following Aquablation. Can J Urol 2017248937– 40

 

Editorial: Reply: RS-RARP vs standard RARP

Since the introduction of robotic surgery in the treatment of patients with prostate cancer (PCa), different surgical innovations have been implemented in order to preserve postoperative functional outcomes while maintaining oncological safety. Sparing the Retzius space during robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) was introduced early this decade by Galfano et al [1]. Interestingly, 90% and 96% of patients treated with Retzius‐sparing RARP (RS‐RARP) were continent (no pad/safety pad) at 1 week and 1 year, respectively. Similarly, our group reported a 70% continence rate (no pad) at 1 month after RS‐RARP [2].

The fast urinary continence recovery after RS‐RARP is related to several anatomical factors: the anterior Retzius space is kept intact; the urinary bladder is not dropped; the endopelvic fascia and puboprostatic ligaments are preserved; and there is minimal distortion of the supporting urethral tissues. A recent study reported [3] that less bladder neck descent was observed during postoperative cystogram in patients treated with RS‐RARP than in those treated with standard RARP.

In a recent randomized controlled study, the postoperative continence rate at 1 week was 48% in standard RARP compared with 71% in RS‐RARP (P = 0.01), and this difference was maintained at 3 months (86% standard RARP vs 95% RS‐RARP; P = 0.02). At 1 year, however, the effect on urinary continence difference was muted (93.3% standard RARP vs 98.3% RS‐RARP; P = 0.09) [4]. Similarly, Chang et al. [3] found that the higher continence rate at 1 week (73.3% RS‐RARP vs 26.7% standard RARP; P = 0.000) had vanished at 1 year (100% vs 93.3%; P = 0.15). By contrast, a large recent prospective series showed that the superiority of RS‐RARP in terms of higher early urinary continence was maintained at 1 year (97.5% RS‐RARP vs 68.5% standard RARP) [5].

In addition to a higher early continence rate, RS‐RARP has a lower incidence of postoperative inguinal hernia occurrence compared with standard RARP [6]. Theoretically, RS‐RARP may provide several other potential advantages. It may be advantageous if patients require future surgery necessitating access to the Retzius space and dropping of the bladder, such as an artificial urinary sphincter implantation, an inflatable penile prosthesis insertion, or kidney transplantation. In addition, in patients with previous inguinal hernia repair using mesh, it enables the avoidance of anterior adhesions by accessing the prostate directly from the Douglas pouch. Notably, large‐size glands and/or middle‐lobe, advanced/high‐risk PCa, and patients with previous prostatic surgeries can be managed safely with RS‐RARP in experienced hands.

Undoubtedly, oncological safety is our main concern in treating cancer. To determine the effectiveness of new treatment methods, long‐term follow‐up is warranted. Biochemical recurrence (BCR) is widely used as a primary oncological outcome to assess PCa treatment success. To our knowledge, after radical prostatectomy, ~35% of patients are at risk of developing BCR in the next 10 years. Currently, there are insufficient data regarding the oncological outcomes of RS‐RARP. Only four articles have compared early oncological outcomes between RS‐RARP and standard RARP, and there was no significant difference (Table 1).

More recently, we reported on the mid‐term oncological outcomes of 359 patients who underwent RS‐RARP. The median follow‐up was 26 months. Although this period is not long enough to reach a meaningful conclusion on the oncological safety of RS‐RARP, it is the longest follow‐up period reported in literature. Overall, the positive surgical margin (PSM) rate was 30.6% (14.6% in pT2 and 40.8% in pT3a disease) and the BCR rate was 14.8%. In terms of functional outcomes, the urinary continence rate at 1 year was 93.9% [7]. Interestingly, 164 patients (45.7%) of our cohort had high‐risk PCa. In these patients, the PSM rate was 41.2%, the BCR rate was 22%, and the 3‐year BCR‐free survival (BCRFS) rate was 72%. We compared our results with those in patients with high‐risk PCa treated with standard RARP in the literature. In studies that used the D’Amico criteria the median follow‐up ranged from 12.5 to 37.3 months, the PSM rates were 20.5% to 53.3%, the BCR rates were 17.4% to 31% and the 3‐year BCRFS rates were 41.4% to 86%. In studies that used the National Comprehensive Cancer Network criteria, the median follow‐up ranged from 23.6 to 27 months, the PSM rates were 29% to 38%, the BCR rates were 9.4% to 33%, and the 3‐year BCRFS rates were 55% to 66% [7].

In summary, RS‐RARP is a novel surgical approach which is associated with better urinary continence recovery in the first few months compared with standard RARP [2,3,4,5]. This superiority might be maintained [5] or equalized at 1 year [3,4]. A few studies have compared the early oncological results between RS‐RARP and standard RARP and no significant difference was found [2,3,4,5]. Recently, our group reported the mid‐term oncological outcomes of patients with high‐risk PCa treated with RS‐RARP and these were similar to those of large studies of conventional RARP. This confirms effective and safe mid‐term BCR control after RS‐RARP, while the long‐term oncological results are awaited [7]. Currently, >4 000 cases of RS‐RARP are performed worldwide and more centres are beginning to use and converting to Retzius‐sparing surgery. All centres are experiencing faster recovery of continence. Thanks are due to Drs Galfano and Bocciardi for exploring and sharing this surgical frontier.

 

References

  1. Galfano A, Di Trapani D, Sozzi F, et al. Beyond the learning curve of the Retzius‐sparing approach for robotassisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy: oncologic and functional results of the first 200 patients with ? 1 year of follow‐up. Eur Urol 2013; 64: 974‐80
  2. Lim SK, Kim KH, Shin TY et al. Retzius‐sparing robot‐assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy: combining the best of retropubic and perineal approaches. BJU Int 2014; 114: 236–44
  3. Chang LW, Hung SC, Hu JC et al. Retzius‐sparing robotic‐assisted radical prostatectomy associated with less bladder neck descent and better early continence outcome. Anticancer Res 2018; 38: 345–51
  4. Menon M, Dalela D, Jamil M et al. Functional recovery, oncologic outcomes and postoperative complications after robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy: an evidence‐based analysis comparing the Retzius sparing and standard approaches. J Urol 2018; 199: 1210–7
  5. Sayyid RK, Simpson WG, Lu C et al. Retzius sparing robotic assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy: a safe surgical technique with superior continence outcomes. J Endourol 2017; 31: 1244–50
  6. Chang KD, Abdel Raheem A, Santok GDR et al. Anatomical Retzius‐space preservation is associated with lower incidence of postoperative inguinal hernia development after robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy. Hernia 2017; 21: 555–61
  7. Abdel Raheem A, Kidon C, Alenzi M et al. Predictors of biochemical recurrence after retzius‐sparing robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy: analysis of 359 cases with a median follow‐up of 26 months. Int J Urol 2018; 25: 1006–14

 

Resident’s podcast: Retzius‐sparing robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy

Maria Uloko is a Urology Resident at the University of Minnesota Hospital. In this podcast she discusses the following BJUI Article of the Week:

Retzius‐sparing robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy (RS‐RARP) vs standard RARP: it’s time for critical appraisal

Thomas Stonier*, Nick Simson*, John Davisand Ben Challacombe

 

*Department of Urology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, Urology Centre, Guy s Hospital, London, UK and Department of Urology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

 

Abstract

Since robot‐assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) started to be regularly performed in 2001, the procedure has typically followed the original retropubic approach, with incremental technical improvements in an attempt to improve outcomes. These include the running Van‐Velthoven anastomosis, posterior reconstruction or ‘Rocco stitch’, and cold ligation of the Santorini plexus/dorsal vein to maximise urethral length. In 2010, Bocciardi’s team in Milan proposed a novel posterior or ‘Retzius‐sparing’ RARP (RS‐RARP), mirroring the classic open perineal approach. This allows avoidance of supporting structures, such as the puboprostatic ligaments, endopelvic fascia, and Santorini plexus, preserving the normal anatomy as much as possible and limiting damage that may contribute to improved postoperative continence and erectile function. There has been much heralding of the excellent functional outcomes in both the medical and the lay press, but as yet no focus or real mention of any potential downsides of this new technique.

 

BJUI Podcasts now available on iTunes, subscribe here https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/bju-international/id1309570262

 

Video: Cognitive training for technical and non‐technical skills in robotic surgery

Cognitive training for technical and non‐technical skills in robotic surgery: a randomised controlled trial

Abstract

Objective

To investigate the effectiveness of motor imagery (MI) for technical skill and non‐technical skill (NTS) training in minimally invasive surgery (MIS).

Subjects and Methods

A single‐blind, parallel‐group randomised controlled trial was conducted at the Vattikuti Institute of Robotic Surgery, King’s College London. Novice surgeons were recruited by open invitation in 2015. After basic robotic skills training, participants underwent simple randomisation to either MI training or standard training. All participants completed a robotic urethrovesical anastomosis task within a simulated operating room. In addition to the technical task, participants were required to manage three scripted NTS scenarios. Assessment was performed by five blinded expert surgeons and a NTS expert using validated tools for evaluating technical skills [Global Evaluative Assessment of Robotic Skills (GEARS)] and NTS [Non‐Technical Skills for Surgeons (NOTSS)]. Quality of MI was assessed using a revised Movement Imagery Questionnaire (MIQ).

Results

In all, 33 participants underwent MI training and 29 underwent standard training. Interrater reliability was high, Krippendorff’s α = 0.85. After MI training, the mean (sd) GEARS score was significantly higher than after standard training, at 13.1 (3.25) vs 11.4 (2.97) (P = 0.03). There was no difference in mean NOTSS scores, at 25.8 vs 26.4 (P = 0.77). MI training was successful with significantly higher imagery scores than standard training (mean MIQ score 5.1 vs 4.5, P = 0.04).

Conclusions

Motor imagery is an effective training tool for improving technical skill in MIS even in novice participants. No beneficial effect for NTS was found.

Article of the week: Cognitive training for technical and non‐technical skills in robotic surgery: a randomised controlled trial

Every week, the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an accompanying editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. These are intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation. There is also a video produced by the authors.

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Cognitive training for technical and non‐technical skills in robotic surgery: a randomised controlled trial

Nicholas Raison* , Kamran Ahmed*, Takashige Abe*, Oliver Brunckhorst*, Giacomo Novara, Nicolo Buf§, Craig McIlhenny, Henk van der Poel**, Mieke van Hemelrijck††, Andrea Gavazzi‡‡ and Prokar Dasgupta*

 

*Division of Transplantation Immunology and Mucosal Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, Kings College London, UK, ††Division of Cancer Studies, Kings College London, UK, Department of Urology, Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Larbert, UK, Department of Urology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan, Department of Urology, University of Padua, Padua, §Department of Urology, Humanitas Clinical and Research Centre, Rozzano, Milan, ‡‡Department of Urology, Azienda USL Toscana Centro, Florence, Italy, and **Department of Urology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

 

Visual Abstract created by Rebecca Fisher @beckybeckyfish

Abstract

Objective

To investigate the effectiveness of motor imagery (MI) for technical skill and non‐technical skill (NTS) training in minimally invasive surgery (MIS).

Subjects and Methods

A single‐blind, parallel‐group randomised controlled trial was conducted at the Vattikuti Institute of Robotic Surgery, King’s College London. Novice surgeons were recruited by open invitation in 2015. After basic robotic skills training, participants underwent simple randomisation to either MI training or standard training. All participants completed a robotic urethrovesical anastomosis task within a simulated operating room. In addition to the technical task, participants were required to manage three scripted NTS scenarios. Assessment was performed by five blinded expert surgeons and a NTS expert using validated tools for evaluating technical skills [Global Evaluative Assessment of Robotic Skills (GEARS)] and NTS [Non‐Technical Skills for Surgeons (NOTSS)]. Quality of MI was assessed using a revised Movement Imagery Questionnaire (MIQ).

Results

In all, 33 participants underwent MI training and 29 underwent standard training. Interrater reliability was high, Krippendorff’s α = 0.85. After MI training, the mean (sd) GEARS score was significantly higher than after standard training, at 13.1 (3.25) vs 11.4 (2.97) (P = 0.03). There was no difference in mean NOTSS scores, at 25.8 vs 26.4 (P = 0.77). MI training was successful with significantly higher imagery scores than standard training (mean MIQ score 5.1 vs 4.5, P = 0.04).

Conclusions

Motor imagery is an effective training tool for improving technical skill in MIS even in novice participants. No beneficial effect for NTS was found.

 

ERUS 2018 – Marseille

Robotic Heaven

The EAU Robotic Urology Section (ERUS) is unabashedly a Robotic surgery conference. We have all drunk the Kool-Aid and we have all come for the robot. There is no need to rush between rooms deciding which session to attend. 3D Glasses are donned, we sit back and the education comes at you on the Cinemax style screen, three live surgeries at a time. This year, the 15th Annual Meeting of ERUS took place in Marseille from 5-7th September 2018 and was convened by Dr Jochen Walz, Director of GU Oncology at the Institut-Paoli Calmettes Cancer Centre. Over 650 delegates from all over the world attended what is the world’s leading robotic surgery conference in urology.

 

 

Three reasons you should have been there

The Rise of the new Robots

In a world exclusive we saw the first cadaveric prostatectomy using the Versius from CMR surgical (aka the Cambridge Robot)

In a candid presentation Prof Dasgupta gave his personal feedback on his experience. This helped grow the enthusiasm for this robotic platform that has been gaining widespread media exposure in recent times.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-45370642

Invariably the talk of new robots spilled over into social media with a wish list and critique of the current landscape of robotic surgery.

ERAS at ERUS

If we are doing surgery minimally invasive then we should maximise recovery for our patients. A multi-disciplinary team of speakers highlighted the pathways for our patients. We should all be adopting these programs in our own centres. Rather then re-inventing the wheel in each centre we should utilise the great resources already available.

erus18.uroweb.org/wp-content/uploads/ERAS-Protocol-070718.pdf

Live Surgery

Surgeons like surgery and to watch ones craft is undoubtedly a form of education.

All of the 16 live surgery cases were performed by experts to an elite standard and were extremely informative. As per the EAU guidelines we were given updates from both the previous years patients and also the follow up of those performed during the conference.

But live surgery does walk a tightrope of ethics for surgeons and again we must be mindful of the sanctity of the surgeon – patient relationship and above all else patient safety comes first.

 

#Ilooklikearoboticsurgeon

Hopefully the ERUS committee have a long-term diversity plan to ensure more (any) female surgeons are in the live surgery and on the podium. It is very much not for lack of high quality world class female surgeons, many who I have had the privilege to train or work with.

Make Friends not Robots

For all the robotic contact we got, we all crave that human touch and herein lies the key reason to consider ERUS2019 in sunny Portugal.

Prof Dasgupta editor of the BJUI tweeted it best and I wholeheartedly agree. The friends through out the world that I got to catch up with make all that travel worthwhile.

 

The 16th ERUS takes place in Lisbon from 11-13th September 2019 and will be convened by Dr Kris Maes. Check out Kris’ promo video here


 

 

Simon van Rij (@sivanrij) is a Urologist based in Auckland, New Zealand.

 

 

RSM Urology Winter Meeting 2017, Northstar, California

rsm-2017-blogThis year’s Annual RSM Urology Section Winter Meeting, hosted by Roger Kirby and Matt Bultitude, was held in Lake Tahoe, California.

A pre-conference trip to sunny Los Angeles provided a warm-up to the meeting for a group of delegates who flew out early to visit Professor Indy Gill at the Keck School of Medicine.  We were treated to a diverse range of live open, endourological and robotic surgery; highlights included a salvage RARP with extended lymph node dissection and a robotic simple prostatectomy which was presented as an alternative option for units with a robot but no/limited HoLEP expertise.

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On arrival to Northstar, Dr Stacy Loeb (NYU) officially opened the meeting by reviewing the social media urology highlights from 2016. Next up was Professor Joseph Smith (Nashville) who gave us a fascinating insight into the last 100 years of urology as seen through the Journal of Urology. Much like today, prostate cancer and BPH were areas of significant interest although, in contrast, early papers focused heavily on venereal disease, TB and the development of cystoscopy. Perhaps most interesting was a slightly hair-raising description of the management of IVC bleeding from 1927; the operating surgeon was advised to clamp as much tissue as possible, close and then return to theatre a week later in the hopes the bleeding had ceased!

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With the promise of beautifully groomed pistes and stunning views of Lake Tahoe, it was hardly surprising that the meeting was attended by a record number of trainees. One of the highlights of the trainee session was the hilarious balloon debate which saw participants trying to convince the audience of how best to manage BPH in the newly inaugurated President Trump. Although strong arguments were put forward for finasteride, sildenafil, Urolift, PVP and HoLEP, TURP ultimately won the debate. A disclaimer: this was a fictional scenario and, to the best of my knowledge, Donald Trump does not have BPH.

The meeting also provided updates on prostate, renal and bladder cancer. A standout highlight was Professor Nick James’ presentation on STAMPEDE which summarized the trial’s key results and gave us a taste of the upcoming data we can expect to see in the next few years.

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We were fortunate to be joined by prominent American faculty including Dr Trinity Bivalacqua (Johns Hopkins) and Dr Matt Cooperberg (UCSF) who provided state-of-the-art lectures on potential therapeutic targets and biomarkers in bladder and prostate cancer which promise to usher in a new era of personalized therapy.

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A personal highlight was Tuesday’s session on learning from complications. It was great to hear some very senior and experienced surgeons speaking candidly about their worst complications. As a trainee, it served as a reminder that complications are inevitable in surgery and that it is not their absence which distinguishes a good surgeon but rather the ability to manage them well.

There was also plenty for those interested in benign disease, including topical discussions on how to best provide care to an increasingly ageing population with multiple co-morbidities. This was followed by some lively point-counterpoint sessions on robot-assisted versus open renal transplantation (Ravi Barod and Tim O’Brien), Urolift vs TURP (Tom McNicholas and Matt Bultitude) and HOLEP vs prostate artery embolization for BPH (Ben Challacombe and Rick Popert). Professor Culley Carson (University of North Carolina) concluded the session with a state-of-the art lecture on testosterone replacement.

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In addition to the excellent academic programme, delegates enjoyed fantastic skiing with perfect weather and unparalleled views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. For the more adventurous skiiers, there was also a trip to Squaw Valley, the home of the 1960 Winter Olympics. Another highlight was a Western-themed dinner on the shores of Lake Tahoe which culminated in almost all delegates trying their hand at line dancing to varying degrees of success! I have no doubt that next year’s meeting in Corvara, Italy will be equally successful and would especially encourage trainees to attend what promises to be another excellent week of skiing and urological education.

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Miss Niyati Lobo
ST3 Urology Trainee, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

@niyatilobo

 

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