Teaching robotic cystectomy: prospective pilot clinical validation of the ERUS training curriculum

the ERUS Educational Working Group, the Junior ERUS/EAU-YAU Robotic Surgery Working Group and the EAU-YAU Urothelial Carcinoma Working Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To provide the first clinical validation of the European Association of Urology Robotic Urology Section (ERUS) curriculum for training in robot-assisted radical cystectomy with intracorporeal urinary diversion (iRARC). Patients and Methods: The ERUS proposed a structured curriculum, divided into 11 steps, to train novice surgeons and help overcome the steep learning curve associated with iRARC. In this study, one trainee completed the curriculum under the mentorship of an expert. Twenty-one patients were operated on by the trainee following the proposed iRARC curriculum [(t)iRARC group] and were compared with 42 patients treated with the standard of care by the mentor [(m)iRARC group]. To evaluate curriculum safety, peri-operative outcomes, surgical margins and complications were assessed. Propensity-score matching (1:2) was used to identify comparable (t)iRARC and (m)iRARC cases. Matched variables included age, body mass index, neoadjuvant therapy, American Society of Anesthesiologists score and cT stage. Mann–Whitney and chi-squared tests were used to compare peri- and postoperative outcomes between the two cohorts. To evaluate curriculum efficacy, steps attempted and completed by the trainee were assessed and studied as a function of growing surgical experience of the trainee. Results: The trainee progressed in proficiency-based training through steps of increasing difficulty. No differences in estimated blood loss, positive soft tissue margins, number of resected lymph nodes, overall and high-grade complications, or 90-day readmissions between the (t)iRARC and (m)iRARC groups were observed (all P > 0.05). However, operating time was significantly longer in the (t)iRARC group (P = 0.01). Of the 209 available steps, the trainee attempted 168 (80%) and successfully performed 125 (60%). Increasing experience was associated with more steps being successfully performed (P < 0.001). Conclusions: The proposed ERUS curriculum assists naïve surgeons during the learning curve for iRARC and should be encouraged in order to guarantee optimal outcomes during the learning phase of this procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-91
Number of pages8
JournalBJU International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • ERUS
  • cystectomy
  • intracorporeal
  • robotic
  • training


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