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Open Access Debate

Radical Prostatectomy: Hospital volumes and surgical volumes – does practice make perfect?

Cydney Urbanek, Ryan Turpen and Charles J Rosser*

Author Affiliations

Department of Urology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

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BMC Surgery 2009, 9:10  doi:10.1186/1471-2482-9-10

Published: 6 June 2009

Abstract

Background

Between the years 1993 and 2003, more than 140,000 men underwent radical prostatectomy (RP), thus making RP one of the most common treatment options for localized prostate cancer in the United States.

Discussion

Localized prostate cancer treated by RP is one of the more challenging procedures performed by urologic surgeons. Studies suggest a definite learning curve in performing this procedure with optimal results noted after performing >500 RPs. But is surgical volume everything? How do hospital volumes of RP weigh in? Could fellowship training in RP reduce the critical volume needed to reach an 'experienced' level?

Summary

As we continue to glean data as to how to optimize outcomes after RP, we must not only consider surgeon and hospital volumes of RP, but also consider training of the individual surgeon.