Transition from laparoscopic to robotic partial nephrectomy: The learning curve for an experienced laparoscopic surgeon

Hugh J. Lavery, Alexander C. Small, David B. Samadi, Michael A. Palese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The complexity of laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (LPN) has prompted many laparoscopic surgeons to adopt robotic partial nephrectomy (RPN) for the treatment of small renal masses. We assessed the learning curve for an experienced laparoscopic surgeon during the transition from LPN to RPN. Methods: We compared perioperative outcomes of the first 20 patients who underwent RPN to the last 18 patients who underwent LPN by the same surgeon (MAP). Surgical technique was consistent across platforms. The learning curve was defined as the number of cases required to consistently perform RPN with shorter average operative times (OT) and warm ischemia times (WIT), as compared to the last 18 LPN. A line of best fit aided graphical interpretation of the learning curve on a scatter diagram of OT versus procedure date. Results: The 2 groups had comparable preoperative demographics and tumor histopathology. No patients in either group had a positive surgical margin. There was a downward trend in both OT and WIT during the RPN learning curve. After the first 5 RPN cases, the average OT reached the average OT of the last 18 LPN cases. The average OT of the first 5 RPN patients was 242.8 minutes, compared with the average OT of the last 15 RPN patients of 171.3 minutes (P=0.011). Conclusion: The transition from LPN to RPN is rapid in an experienced laparoscopic surgeon. There were no significant differences in WIT, estimated blood loss, or length of hospital stay between LPN and RPN. RPN achieved a similar OT as LPN after 5 procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-297
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Laparoscopy
  • Learning curve
  • Neoplasm
  • Partial nephrectomy
  • Renal
  • Robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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