Fewer deaths, complications with robotic bladder cancer surgery, but cost is higher
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Robotic-assisted surgical removal of cancerous bladders is a new approach to the traditional ‘open’ -- or more invasive -- operation called a radical cystectomy. A study currently online in the journal European Urology has found that compared to open surgery for bladder cancer, robotic surgery results in fewer deaths and in-patient complications and reduces the need for intravenous nutrition after the procedure. The procedure, however, is more costly. "While we expected to see greater expenses associated with the robotic procedure for bladder cancer, we were surprised to see the significant reduction in deaths and complications, particularly this early in its adoption," said the study's senior author, Dr. Jim Hu, director of minimally invasive surgery in the urology department at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.