Cost Comparison of Robotic, Laparoscopic, and Open Radical Prostatectomy for Prostate Cancer

Christian Bolenz, Amit Gupta, Timothy Hotze, Richard Ho, Jeffrey A Cadeddu, Claus Roehrborn, Yair Lotan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

214 Scopus citations


Background: Demand and utilization of minimally invasive approaches to radical prostatectomy have increased in recent years, but comparative studies on cost are lacking. Objective: To compare costs associated with robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RALP), laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP), and open retropubic radical prostatectomy (RRP). Design, setting, and participants: The study included 643 consecutive patients who underwent radical prostatectomy (262 RALP, 220 LRP, and 161 RRP) between September 2003 and April 2008. Measurements: Direct and component costs were compared. Costs were adjusted for changes over the time of the study. Results and limitations: Disease characteristics (body mass index, preoperative prostate-specific antigen, prostate size, and Gleason sum score 8-10) were similar in the three groups. Nerve sparing was performed in 85% of RALP procedures, 96% of LRP procedures, and 90% of RRP procedures (p < 0.001). Lymphadenectomy was more commonly performed in RRP (100%) compared to LRP (22%) and RALP (11%) (p < 0.001). Mean length of hospital stay was higher for RRP than for LRP and RALP. The median direct cost was higher for RALP compared to LRP or RRP (RALP: $6752 [interquartile range (IQR): $6283-7369]; LRP: $5687 [IQR: $4941-5905]; RRP: $4437 [IQR: $3989-5141]; p < 0.001). The main difference was in surgical supply cost (RALP: $2015; LRP: $725; RRP: $185) and operating room (OR) cost (RALP: $2798; LRP: $2453; RRP: $1611; p < 0.001). When considering purchase and maintenance costs for the robot, the financial burden would increase by $2698 per patient, given an average of 126 cases per year. Conclusions: RALP is associated with higher cost, predominantly due to increased surgical supply and OR costs. These costs may have a significant impact on overall cost of prostate cancer care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-458
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010


  • Cost analysis
  • Economics
  • Laparoscopy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostatectomy
  • Robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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