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To compare the effect of robot-assisted (RAPN) vs. open (OPN) partial nephrectomy on short-term postoperative outcomes and total hospital charges in frail patients with non-metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
Within the National Inpatient Sample database we identified 2745 RCC patients treated with either RAPN or OPN between 2008 and 2015, who met the Johns Hopkins Adjusted Clinical Groups frailty-defining indicator criteria. We examined the rates of RAPN vs. OPN over time. Moreover, we compared the effect of RAPN vs. OPN on short-term postoperative outcomes and total hospital charges. Time trends and multivariable logistic, Poisson and linear regression models were applied.
Overall, 1109 (40.4%) frail patients were treated with RAPN. Rates of RAPN increased over time, from 16.3% to 54.7% (p < 0.001). Frail RAPN patients exhibited lower rates (all p < 0.001) of overall complications (35.3 vs. 48.3%), major complications (12.4 vs. 20.4%), blood transfusions (8.0 vs. 13.5%), non-home-based discharge (9.6 vs. 15.2%), shorter length of stay (3 vs. 4 days), but higher total hospital charges ($50,060 vs. $45,699). Moreover, RAPN independently predicted (all p < 0.001) lower risk of overall complications (OR: 0.58), major complications (OR: 0.55), blood transfusions (OR: 0.60) and non-home-based discharge (OR: 0.51), as well as shorter LOS (RR: 0.77) but also higher total hospital charges (RR: +$7682), relative to OPN.
In frail patients, RAPN is associated with lower rates of short-term postoperative complications, blood transfusions and non-home-based discharge, as well as with shorter LOS than OPN. However, RAPN use also results in higher total hospital charges.
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