Robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RALP) is more effective at preserving erectile function and urinary continence than laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP) in the treatment of localized prostate cancer, according to a recently published meta-analysis.

The meta-analysis, by researchers at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, included 2 randomized controlled trials enrolling a total of 232 patients comparing the surgical approaches. Neither study looked at prostate cancer specific or all-cause mortality. Compared with LRP patients, RALP patients were 51% more likely to experience return of erectile function and 14% more likely to return to urinary continence, the investigators reported online ahead of print in Urologia Internationalis.

“Given the limited number of RCTs published and the varying quality of existing studies, there is insufficient evidence to wholeheartedly support, or refute, the use of one technique over the other in the treatment of localized prostate cancer,” the authors concluded.