Over the years, several surgical modifications have been incorporated into radical prostatectomy in order to improve the surgical outcome. Despite the rapid dissemination of robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP) through the urologic community, comparative studies on the practicality of RALP compared to open radical prostatectomy (OP) are lacking. Thus, it remains difficult to draw any conclusions regarding cancer control and postoperative morbidity. This review will introduce the evolution of surgical technique and the current status of RALP in relation to OP in the management of localized prostate cancer focusing on the perioperative, oncological and functional outcomes. Based on the review of literatures, perioperative outcomes, such as blood loss, transfusion rates, hospitalization duration and complication rates, all favored RALP. The positive surgical margin rates of RALP were similar to those of OP with regard to the oncological outcomes. With regard to the functional outcomes, OP and RALP also showed similar continence and potency rates. However, refinements in technique employed during RALP have improved the early return of continence postoperatively. Although OP remains the gold standard treatment in localized prostate cancer, robotic surgery and continued technical advancements will ultimately improve patient outcomes. However, further prospective randomized comparative clinical trials with a long-term follow-up utilizing validated questionnaire are needed to prove the superiority of either surgical approach in terms of functional and oncological outcomes. In addition, RALP technique will need a substantial decrease in the cost of the robotic system to achieve wider global acceptance and application.
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