Is It Safe to Switch from a Standard Anterior to Retzius-Sparing Approach in Robot-Assisted Radical Prostatectomy?

E. Lambert*, C. Allaeys, C. Berquin, P. De Visschere, S. Verbeke, B. Vanneste, V. Fonteyne, C. Van Praet, N. Lumen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Retzius-sparing robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RS-RARP) has been shown to lead to better outcomes regarding early continence compared to standard anterior RARP (SA-RARP). The goal of this study was to assess the feasibility and safety of implementing RS-RARP in a tertiary center with experience in SA-RARP. Methods: From February 2020, all newly diagnosed non-metastatic prostate cancer patients for whom RARP was indicated were evaluated for RS-RARP. Data from the first 100 RS-RARP patients were prospectively collected and compared with data from the last 100 SA-RARP patients. Patients were evaluated for Clavien Dindo grade >= 3a complications, urinary continence after 2 and 6 weeks, 3, 6 and 12 months, erectile function, positive surgical margins (PSMs) and biochemical recurrence (BCR). Results: There was no significant difference in postoperative complications at Clavien-Dindo grade >= 3a (SA-RARP: 6, RS-RARP: 4; p = 0.292). At all time points, significantly higher proportions of RS-RARP patients were continent (p < 0.001). No significant differences in postoperative potency were observed (52% vs. 59%, respectively, p = 0.608). PSMs were more frequent in the RS-RARP group (43% vs. 29%, p = 0.034), especially in locally advanced tumors (pT3: 64.6% vs. 43.8%, p = 0.041-pT2: 23.5% vs. 15.4%, p = 0.329). The one-year BCR-free survival was 82.6% vs. 81.6% in the SA-RARP and RS-RARP groups, respectively (p = 0.567). The median follow-up was 22 [18-27] vs. 24.5 [17-35] months in the RS-RARP and SA-RARP groups, respectively (p = 0.008). Conclusions: The transition from SA-RARP to RS-RARP can be safely performed by surgeons proficient in SA-RARP. Continence results after RS-RARP were significantly better at any time point. A higher proportion of PSMs was observed, although it did not result in a worse BCR-free survival.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3447-3460
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • radical prostatectomy
  • Retzius-sparing
  • urinary continence
  • erectile dysfunction
  • biochemical recurrence
  • robotic surgery

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