More side effects after robot surgery

The modern robotic assisted surgery, which is regarded biased as a "gentle" treatment option for the patient, has more side effects than previously advocated. For example, a recent cohort study1 in the US Medical Journal showed that the "robot operation" is associated with an increased occurrence of late risks such as impotence and incontinence, which is even more pronounced than with the conventional surgical procedure despite the minimally invasive technique. According to the study results, the incontinence rate after robotic surgery increases by 24% and erectile dysfunction by 29%.

High learning curve

In addition, surgeons who perform robotic assisted removal of the prostate gland must have extensive experience. The learning curve during the robot operation is quite high,"says study leader Jim Hu. Optimal results can usually only be achieved after 150 to 200 interventions. On the other hand, the legal hurdles for specialising in the highly technical method are very low. Surgeons in the USA, for example, only have to take a two-day course before they are allowed to perform the operation alone, initially under the supervision of an experienced surgeon.


Jim C. Hu, MD, MPH; Xiangmei Gu, MS; Stuart R. Lipsitz, ScD; Michael J. Barry, MD; Anthony V. D' Amico, MD, PhD; Aaron C. Weinberg, MD; Nancy L. Keating, MD, MPH: Comparative Effectiveness of Minimally Invasive vs. Open Radical Prostatectomy; JAMA. 2009;302(14):1557-1564.

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