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Robot-Assisted Cystectomy Safe and Effective

Procedure is suitable for candidates for open cystectomy

THURSDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Robot-assisted cystectomy and pelvic lymph node dissection is safe for patients who would otherwise be candidates for open cystectomy, although more control data is needed to fully assess the benefits of this type of procedure, researchers report in the March issue of Urology.

Khurshid A. Guru, M.D., of Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., and colleagues performed robot-assisted radical cystectomy, pelvic lymph node dissection and open urinary diversion for operable bladder cancer on 20 patients between 2005 and 2006. The patients ranged from 56 to 90 years old with a mean age of 70 years.

The mean operative time was 197 minutes for robot-assisted radical cystectomy, 44 minutes for pelvic lymph node dissection and 133 minutes for urinary diversion. The patients' mean hospital stay was 10 days and it took a mean four weeks to return to non-strenuous activity and 10 weeks to return to strenuous activity.

"Since October 2005, robot-assisted radical cystectomy has been offered to every patient with an indication for radical cystectomy," the authors write, adding that the early oncologic data is encouraging. However, "data on long-term oncologic control and functional outcomes are needed to assess the true benefits of robot-assisted radical cystectomy," they conclude.

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