Systematic review of the volume-outcome relationship for radical prostatectomy.

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Urology, CORE

Journal Title

European urology focus.


CONTEXT: Radical prostatectomy (RP) is one of the most complex urological procedures performed. Higher surgical volume has been found previously to be associated with better patient outcomes and reduced costs to the health care system. This has resulted in some regionalization of care toward high-volume facilities and providers; however, the preponderance of RPs is still performed at low-volume institutions.

OBJECTIVE: To provide an updated systematic review of the association of hospital and surgeon volume on patient and system outcomes after RP, including robot-assisted RP.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A systematic review of literature was undertaken, searching PubMed (1959-2016) for original articles. Selection criteria included RP, hospital and/or surgeon volumes as predictor variables, categorization of hospital and/or surgeon volumes, and measurable end points.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Overall 49 publications fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Most of the studies demonstrated that higher-volume surgeries are associated with better outcomes including reduced mortality, morbidity, postoperative complications, length of stay, readmission, and cost-associated factors. The volume-outcome relationship is maintained in robotic surgery. Eleven studies assessed hospital and surgeon volume simultaneously, and findings reflect that neither is an independent predictor variable affecting outcomes. The studies varied in how volume cutoffs were categorized as well as how the volume-outcome relationship was methodologically evaluated.

CONCLUSIONS: Contemporary evidence continues to support the relationship between high-volume surgeries with improved RP outcomes. Recent studies demonstrate that the volume-outcome relationship applies to robot-assisted RP and may be applied for potential cost savings in health care. An increase in the number of international studies suggests reproducibility of the association. Although regionalization of surgical care remains a contentious issue, there is an increasing body of evidence that short-term outcomes are improved at high-volume centers for RP.

PATIENT SUMMARY: This systematic review of the latest literature found that higher surgical volume was associated with improved outcomes for radical prostatectomy.



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