Robot-assisted kidney cancer surgery offers many benefits, but at a cost

May 7, 2013, Henry Ford Health System

Robot-assisted surgery to remove kidney cancers has seen a rapid increase in use, and has both replaced and proven safer than laparoscopic procedures for the same purpose, according to a study by the Vattikuti Urology Institute at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

However, the study also shows that robotic partial nephrectomy (RPN) – while resulting in fewer complications than both open (OPN) and laparoscopic (LPN) removal of cancerous – also involves more "excessive" .

"Excessive hospital charges were significantly higher with robotic partial nephrectomy," says Khurshid R. Ghani, M.D., of Vattikuti Urology Institute and lead author of the study. "While we can report no cost-savings with the procedure – quite the opposite – the benefits are obvious."

"It is a safe operation that has rapidly replaced LPN as the most common minimally for partial nephrectomy. It has shown superior results compared to open surgery, and was better than laparoscopy in every respect but cost," he adds

The findings will be presented May 7 at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in San Diego.

Dr. Ghani says data was mined from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), which includes inpatient discharge information from 1,044 U.S. hospitals.

Between October 2008 – when the NIS first included an identifier for robot-assisted procedures – and December 2010, the researchers found a total of 38,064 patients who underwent OPN, LPN or RPN to treat kidney cancers that had not metastasized.

Of the total, nearly 70 percent had open surgery, nearly 24 percent had robot-assisted surgery and a little more than 9 percent were treated laparoscopically.

Researchers also noted that while all three forms of kidney surgery had increased in 2010, robot-assisted soared by more than 45 percent, far overshadowing the other two types.

Complications were tracked during and after each procedure. The Henry Ford team found:

  • Patients undergoing RPN were least likely to receive a blood transfusion, while those who had open surgery were most likely to need one.
  • The same was true for developing complications after surgery or requiring a prolonged hospital stay.
  • Only those undergoing RPN were less likely to develop complications during surgery.

Explore further: Robot-assisted surgery now favored treatment for kidney cancer

Related Stories

Robot-assisted surgery now favored treatment for kidney cancer

May 15, 2012
Robot-assisted surgery has replaced another minimally invasive operation as the main procedure to treat kidney cancer while sparing part of the diseased organ, and with comparable results, according to a new research study ...

Women fare better than men, but need more blood after kidney cancer surgery

May 15, 2012
Women do better than men after surgical removal of part or all of a cancerous kidney, with fewer post-operative complications, including dying in the hospital, although they are more likely to receive blood transfusions related ...

New technique for minimally invasive robotic kidney cancer surgery

December 13, 2012
Urologists at Henry Ford Hospital have developed a new technique that could make minimally invasive robotic partial nephrectomy procedures the norm, rather than the exception for kidney cancer patients. The technique spares ...

Similar outcomes for robot-aided, conventional nephrectomy

June 22, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Robot-assisted and conventional laparoscopic partial nephrectomies have similar outcomes and complication rates, according to a study published in the July issue of The Journal of Urology.

Recommended for you

Single-cell study in a childhood brain tumor affirms the importance of context

April 20, 2018
In defining the cellular context of diffuse midline gliomas, researchers find the cells fueling their growth and suggest a potential approach to treating them: forcing their cells to be more mature.

Aggressive breast cancer already has resistant tumour cells prior to chemotherapy

April 20, 2018
Difficult to treat and aggressive "triple-negative" breast cancer is chemoresistant even before chemotherapy begins, a new study by researchers from Karolinska Institutet and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center ...

Mechanism that drives development of liver cancer brought on by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease discovered

April 19, 2018
A team of researchers from several institutions in China has found a mechanism that appears to drive the development of a type of liver cancer not caused by alcohol consumption. In their paper published in the journal Science ...

Discovery adds to evidence that some children are predisposed to develop leukemia

April 19, 2018
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital researchers have made a discovery that expands the list of genes to include when screening individuals for possible increased susceptibility to childhood leukemia. The finding is reported ...

Scientists identify 170 potential lung cancer drug targets using unique cellular library

April 19, 2018
After testing more than 200,000 chemical compounds, UT Southwestern's Simmons Cancer Center researchers have identified 170 chemicals that are potential candidates for development into drug therapies for lung cancer.

Chip-based blood test for multiple myeloma could make bone biopsies a relic of the past

April 19, 2018
The diagnosis and treatment of multiple myeloma, a cancer affecting plasma cells, traditionally forces patients to suffer through a painful bone biopsy. During that procedure, doctors insert a bone-biopsy needle through an ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.