Teaching Hospitals Get an 'A' for Prostate Cancer Surgery

Radical prostatectomy patients had better results at teaching hospitals

(RxWiki News) While going to a student hairdresser may not be the best idea, the same cannot be said about teaching hospitals. A new study finds teaching hospitals are the place to go for prostate cancer surgery.

Researchers discovered radical prostatectomy patients at a teaching hospital had better post-operative results than patients undergoing surgery at a medical facility not affiliated with a university. This information could help patients when choosing where to get the surgery.

"Ask your oncologist which hospital is best for prostate surgery."

Radical prostatectomy is the complete surgical removal of the cancerous prostate gland and nearby tissue.

Using data from the United States Department of Health & Human Services' Health Care Utilization Project, rsearchers from the Henry Ford Hospital examined over 90,000 radical prostatectomies from 2001 to 2007. Close to 60 percent of those surgeries were conducted at teaching hospitals which are affiliated with universities.

Compared to non-university medical facilities, patients at teaching hospitals had shorter stays, less blood transfusions and fewer complications after the surgery.

According to the lead author of the study, Quoc-Dien Trinh, M.D., a fellow at Henry Ford Hospital's Vattikuti Urology Institute, patients should expect a favorable outcome when getting a radical prostatectomy at a teaching hospital. Better results aren't guaranteed, but patients should feel comfortable choosing a teaching hospital for this procedure, Dr. Trinh says.

Researchers believe the reason why teaching hospitals were better was because they are dedicated to learning more about a disease and offer more specialized care. Every decision involving the surgery is peer-reviewed which leads to better candidate selection and success rates. Also, more attention is given to patients before and after the surgery, including diagnostic testing, tests throughout the surgery itself and careful post-operative monitoring.

Previous studies have only broadly identified the benefits of surgery at a teaching hospital, but this study helped define more precisely the ways patienta benefit from treatment at a teaching hospital.

This study was published in the Journal of Urology

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Review Date: 
November 9, 2011