Robots have found their place in the operating room, particularly when it comes to the treatment of prostate cancer.  


A new survey published in the April issue of European Urology looked at data from thousands of prostate surgeries that were performed from October 2008 to December 2009 in U.S hospitals. Researchers found that Robot-Assisted Radical Prostatectomy (RARP) has surpassed "open" radical prostatectomy (ORP) as the primary surgical approach to prostate cancer treatment. RARP procedures made up 61 percent of prostatectomies performed in the United States during the time period in question.


This increase in popularity is likely because RARP procedures have far fewer complications than regular surgery including fewer blood transfusions, intraoperative and postoperative complications and prolonged hospitalizations.  


For the study, researchers from the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit looked at data from the National Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital discharges for more than 1,000 community hospitals in 44 states. According to their analysis, 11,889 patients had RARP and 7,389 had open prostatectomies at 647 participating hospitals during the study period. 


RARP was most popular at teaching and urban hospitals and those that performed a high volume of prostatectomies.

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