Effect of 3-Dimensional, Virtual Reality Models for Surgical Planning of Robotic Prostatectomy on Trifecta Outcomes: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The Journal of urology


washington; swedish; seattle; Humans; Laparoscopy; Male; Prostate-Specific Antigen; Prostatectomy; Prostatic Neoplasms; Robotic Surgical Procedures; Single-Blind Method; Treatment Outcome; Virtual Reality


PURPOSE: Planning complex operations such as robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy requires surgeons to review 2-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) cross-sectional images to understand 3-dimensional (3D), patient-specific anatomy. We sought to determine surgical outcomes for robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy when surgeons reviewed 3D, virtual reality (VR) models for operative planning.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A multicenter, randomized, single-blind clinical trial was conducted from January 2019 to December 2020. Patients undergoing robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy were prospectively enrolled and randomized to either a control group undergoing usual preoperative planning with prostate biopsy results and MRI only or to an intervention group where MRI and biopsy results were supplemented with a 3D VR model. The primary outcome measure was margin status, and secondary outcomes were oncologic control, sexual function and urinary function.

RESULTS: Ninety-two patients were analyzed, with trends toward lower positive margin rates (33% vs 25%) in the intervention group, no significant difference in functional outcomes and no difference in traditional operative metrics (p >0.05). Detectable postoperative prostate specific antigen was significantly lower in the intervention group (31% vs 9%, p=0.036). In 32% of intervention cases, the surgeons modified their operative plan based on the model. When this subset was compared to the control group, there was a strong trend toward increased bilateral nerve sparing (78% vs 92%), and a significantly lower rate of postoperative detectable prostate specific antigen in the intervention subset (31% vs 0%, p=0.038).

CONCLUSIONS: This randomized clinical trial demonstrated patients whose surgical planning involved 3D VR models have better oncologic outcomes while maintaining functional outcomes.

Clinical Institute