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Reducing Costs for Robotic Radical Prostatectomy: Three-instrument Technique

      Objective

      To describe our technique for performing robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP) and pelvic lymph node dissection using only 3 robotic instruments to reduce disposable costs associated with the robotic surgical platform.

      Methods

      The financial impact of robotic surgery is real. Whereas the initial capital investment of the robotic platform (including the cost of the device itself and the maintenance contract) is largely fixed, the cost of disposable instrumentation can vary depending on utilization. Herein we describe our technique for 3-instrument robotic radical prostatectomy that may decrease costs by limiting the use of disposable instruments.

      Results

      Exclusion of the high-cost energy instruments may reduce operative costs by up to 40%. In addition, using 1 robotic needle driver vs 2 may decrease overall costs by another 12%. At our institution, we have adopted these techniques in cost-efficiency and have gone further by only using 3 instruments during robotic radical prostatectomy. The only 3 instruments necessary to perform a successful RALP are a robotic needle driver, Prograsp forceps, and monopolar scissors.

      Conclusion

      To improve the value of care while utilizing robotic technology, we must be cognizant of keeping operative costs to a minimum while maintaining positive patient outcomes. We demonstrate here a method to decrease disposable operating room costs while preserving the ability to successfully perform a RALP.
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