Research News

Rapid uptake of new surgical technique associated with rise in harms, study finds

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 10 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4549
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

The rapid diffusion of minimally invasive radical prostatectomy was transiently associated with a twofold higher risk in harm to patients, concludes a new US study.1

The study, whose lead author was J Kellogg Parsons of the University of California, San Diego Health Systems, was published by JAMA Surgery. The researchers compared the incidence of preventable patient injuries between minimally invasive surgery and open radical prostatectomy from 2003 to 2009.

During these years, driven largely by the introduction of the da Vinci robotic surgical system, the number of minimally invasive procedures performed in the United States rose from just over 600 in 2003 to nearly 38 000 in 2009, as the proportion of minimally invasive procedures rose from 6% of radical prostatectomies in 2004 and 2005 to more than half of prostatectomies by 2009.

The researchers were particularly interested in the risks …

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