Comparison of Robot-Assisted and Open Radical Cystectomy in Recovery of Patient-Reported and Performance-Related Measures of Independence: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial

Vivek Venkatramani, Isildinha M. Reis, Mark L. Gonzalgo, Erik P. Castle, Michael E. Woods, Robert S. Svatek, Alon Z. Weizer, Badrinath R. Konety, Mathew Tollefson, Tracey L. Krupski, Norm D. Smith, Ahmad Shabsigh, Daniel A. Barocas, Marcus L. Quek, Atreya Dash, Dipen J. Parekh

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Importance: No data exist on time to recovery of patient-reported and performance-related measures of functional independence after radical cystectomy (open or robotic). Objective: To determine recovery of functional independence after radical cystectomy and whether robot-assisted radical cystectomy (RARC) is associated with any advantage over open procedures. Design, Setting, and Participants: Data for this secondary analysis from the RAZOR (Randomized Open vs Robotic Cystectomy) trial were used. RAZOR was a phase 3 multicenter noninferiority trial across 15 academic medical centers in the US from July 1, 2011, to November 18, 2014, with a median follow-up of 2 years. Participants included the per-protocol population (n = 302). Data were analyzed from February 1, 2017, to May 1, 2021. Interventions: Robot-assisted radical cystectomy or open radical cystectomy (ORC). Main Outcomes and Measures: Patient-reported (activities of daily living [ADL] and independent ADL [iADL]) and performance-related (hand grip strength [HGS] and Timed Up & Go walking test [TUGWT]) measures of independence were assessed. Patterns of postoperative recovery for the entire cohort and comparisons between RARC and ORC were performed. Exploratory analyses to assess measures of independence across diversion type and to determine whether baseline impairments were associated with 90-day complications or 1-year mortality were performed. Findings: Of the 302 patients included in the analysis (254 men [84.1%]; mean [SD] age at consent, 68.0 [9.7] years), 150 underwent RARC and 152 underwent ORC. Baseline characteristics were similar in both groups. For the entire cohort, ADL, iADL, and TUGWT recovered to baseline by 3 postoperative months, whereas HGS recovered by 6 months. There was no difference between RARC and ORC for ADL, iADL, TUGWT, or HGS scores at any time. Activities of daily living recovered 1 month after RARC (mean estimated score, 7.7 [95% CI, 7.3-8.0]) vs 3 months after ORC (mean estimated score, 7.5 [95% CI, 7.2-7.8]). Hand grip strength recovered by 3 months after RARC (mean estimated HGS, 29.0 [95% CI, 26.3-31.7] kg) vs 6 months after ORC (mean estimated HGS, 31.2 [95% CI, 28.8-34.2] kg). In the RARC group, 32 of 90 patients (35.6%) showed a recovery in HGS at 3 months vs 32 of 88 (36.4%) in the ORC group (P =.91), indicating a rejection of the primary study hypothesis for HGS. Independent ADL and TUGWT recovered in 3 months for both approaches. Hand grip strength showed earlier recovery in patients undergoing continent urinary diversion (mean HGS at 3 months, 31.3 [95% CI, 27.7-34.8] vs 33.9 [95% CI, 30.5-37.3] at baseline; P =.09) than noncontinent urinary diversion (mean HGS at 6 months, 27.4 [95% CI, 24.9-30.0] vs 29.5 [95% CI, 27.2-31.9] kg at baseline; P =.02), with no differences in other parameters. Baseline impairments in any parameter were not associated with 90-day complications or 1-year mortality. Conclusions and Relevance: The results of this secondary analysis suggest that patients require 3 to 6 months to recover baseline levels after radical cystectomy irrespective of surgical approach. These data will be invaluable in patient counseling and preparation. Hand grip strength and ADL tended to recover to baseline earlier after RARC; however, there was no difference in the percentage of patients recovering when compared with ORC. Further study is needed to assess the clinical significance of these findings. Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT01157676.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2148329
JournalJAMA network open
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 16 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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