Searching robotic prostatectomy online: What information is available?

Peter L. Steinberg, Reza Ghavamian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objectives: To search online using the Google search engine to determine what information for robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) is available and whether the claims made on the Internet are supported by the published peer-reviewed urologic data. Methods: The term "robotic prostatectomy" was searched using Google on September 29, 2009. The first 50 Web sites were reviewed for RARP specific outcomes, including oncologic outcomes, potency, continence, recovery, and blood loss. All claims were compared with the accepted standards supported by the existing published urologic data. Results: Of the first 50 Web sites, 9 were rejected. Of the remaining 41, 29 were from academic practices and 8 from nonacademic practices; for 4, this distinction was not applicable. Also, 19 sites had direct links, photographs, or text from the Intuitive Surgical Web site, and 22 sites did not. Of the 41 Web sites, 20 made no mention of surgeon experience with RARP and 21 did, with an average experience of 1487 ± 1206 cases. More than 60% of the sites claimed better potency outcomes with RARP than with radical retropubic prostatectomy, although 32% of sites omitted this information. Similarly, 63% of the Web sites claimed improved continence with RARP than with radical retropubic prostatectomy, and 29% of the sites made no mention of continence. Data on oncologic efficacy was missing from 22% of the Web sites, 22% suggested the cancer outcomes were equivalent between RARP and radical retropubic prostatectomy, and 56% suggested the cancer outcomes were better with RARP. Concerning postoperative recovery and blood loss, 85% of the sites stated that both were improved with RARP, and only 15% omitted these data. Conclusions: Overall, an online search using the Google search engine for robotic prostatectomy yielded many Web sites with unsubstantiated information of variable accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-945
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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