Surgeons' Experience Tied to Prostatectomy Outcome

Radical prostatectomies by experienced surgeons found to have lower complication rates

TUESDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The proportion of surgeons with high annual radical prostatectomy (RP) caseloads has increased over the last decade, and patients undergoing RPs are at lower risk of complications or transfusions if their surgeons are in the high caseload tertile, according to research published in the December issue of The Journal of Urology.

Lars Budäus, M.D., of the Prostate Cancer Center University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany, and colleagues analyzed annual caseload temporal trends in 34,803 patients who underwent RP between 1999 and 2008 in Florida. They compared the annual caseloads of individual surgeons to the volume-outcome relationship in patients.

The researchers found that, during the study period, the proportion of surgeons in the high annual caseload tertile (at least 24 RPs yearly) doubled to 10 percent and the proportion of patients treated by these surgeons increased from 20 to 55 percent. A decrease in complication and transfusion rates among these patients was observed -- from 14.3 to 9.2 percent and from 12.6 to 6.9 percent, respectively. The researchers also found that RPs done by surgeons in the high experience tertile (at least 86 RPs) lowered the risk of any complication by 33 percent, and the risk of any transfusion by 30 percent, compared to rates in patients operated on by surgeons in the low surgical experience tertile (27 or fewer RPs).

"The implications of these encouraging findings may result in improved outcomes in patients with surgically managed prostate cancer," the authors write.

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Updated on June 06, 2022

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