Practice makes perfect: specialisation cuts prostate op complications


The decision to concentrate prostate surgery in a few specialised regional hospitals has cut the number of complications by two-thirds, the AD said on Thursday.

Far fewer men are suffering from impotence, problems with urination and infections, the paper said, quoting research by MediQuest.

Every year 11,000 men in the Netherlands are diagnosed with prostate cancer and around one in four undergo an operation to remove the prostate. In 2011, 196 complications were reported but this has now been reduced to 67, the AD said.

Six years ago, 59 hospitals carried out the operation, but now their work has been concentrated in 36. The most operations are carried out by the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek cancer hospital in Amsterdam. It carried out 278 prostate ops last year, but wants to double that in 2017.

Medical director Emile Voest told the AD that cancer surgery requires experience. ‘We can take an enormous step forward if we concentrate care even further, in four or five centres,’ he said.

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