The study was performed to examine patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in the 1st year after surgery and the institutional learning curve after the introduction of robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP).
Materials and Methods:
The subjects were 320 consecutive patients who underwent RARP from 2014 to 2018. These cases were divided into three groups treated in the early, middle, and late periods, with about 100 cases in each. PROs were recorded using the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC).
There were no significant differences among the early, middle, and late periods based on EPIC scores. Urinary function and bother decreased in the 1st month after surgery, and gradually recovered thereafter. However, urinary function was significantly worse in the 1st year after surgery than at baseline. Urinary function and bother were better in patients treated with nerve-sparing surgery, and in nerve-sparing cases, urinary function and bother were best in the early period and worst in the late period. These cases also had the best score for sexual function in the early period, but sexual bother was worst in the early period. In contrast, in cases treated without nerve-sparing surgery, urinary function and bother were best in the late period and worst in the early period, although without significant differences.
The functional results of this study based on PROs are useful for providing information for patients. Interestingly, the institutional learning curves for RARP differed in cases that did and did not undergo a nerve-sparing procedure.