Perioperative outcomes and safety of robotic vs open cystectomy: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 12,640 cases

Bladder Cancer

World J Urol. 2020 Jul 30. doi: 10.1007/s00345-020-03385-8. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: Robotic radical cystectomy (RRC) has become a commonly utilised alternative to open radical cystectomy (ORC). We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of RRC vs ORC focusing on perioperative outcomes and safety.

METHODS: Medline, EMBASE and CENTRAL were searched from January 2000 to April 2020 following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Statement for study selection.

RESULTS: In total, 47 studies (5 randomised controlled trials, 42 non-randomised comparative studies) comprising 12,640 patients (6572 ORC, 6068 RRC) were included. There was no difference in baseline demographics between the groups apart from males were more likely to undergo ORC (OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.69-0.85). Those with muscle-invasive disease were more likely to undergo RRC (OR 1.21, 95% CI 1.09-1.34), and those with high-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer were more likely to undergo ORC (OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.72-0.89). RRC had a significantly longer operating time, less blood loss and lower transfusion rate. There was no difference in lymph node yield, rate of positive surgical margins, or Clavien-Dindo Grade I-II complications between the two groups. However, the RRC group were less likely to experience Clavien-Dindo Grade III-IV (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.30-1.89) and overall complications (OR 1.45, 95% CI 1.26-1.68) than the ORC group. The mortality rate was higher in ORC although this did not reach statistical significance (OR 1.52, 95% CI 0.99-2.35).

CONCLUSION: RRC has significantly lower blood loss, transfusion rate and is associated with fewer high grade and overall complications compared to ORC.