Systematic review of the ophthalmic complications of robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy

Joshua Rabinowitz, Ned Kinnear, Michael O’Callaghan, Derek Hennessey, Fariha Shafi, Andrew Fuller, Mohamed Ibrahim, Timothy Lane, James Adshead, Nikhil Vasdev

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This study aims to review ophthalmic injuries sustained during of robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP). A search of Medline, Embase, Cochrane and grey literature was performed using methods registered a priori. Eligible studies were published 01/01/2010-01/05/2023 in English and reported ophthalmic complications in cohorts of > 100 men undergoing RALP. The primary outcome was injury incidence. Secondary outcomes were type and permanency of ophthalmic complications, treatments, risk factors and preventative measures. Nine eligible studies were identified, representing 100,872 men. Six studies reported rates of corneal abrasion and were adequately homogenous for meta-analysis, with a weighted pooled rate of 5 injuries per 1000 procedures (95% confidence interval 3-7). Three studies each reported different outcomes of xerophthalmia, retinal vascular occlusion, and ophthalmic complications unspecified in 8, 5 and 2 men per 1000 procedures respectively. Amongst identified studies, there were no reports of permanent ophthalmic complications. Injury management was poorly reported. No significant risk factors were reported, while one study found African-American ethnicity protective against corneal abrasion (0.4 vs. 3.9 per 1000). Variables proposed (but not proven) to increase risk for corneal abrasion included steep Trendelenburg position, high pneumoperitoneum pressure, prolonged operative time and surgical inexperience. Compared with standard of care, occlusive eyelid dressings (23 vs. 0 per 1000) and foam goggles (20 vs. 1.3 per 1000) were found to reduce rates of corneal abrasion. RALP carries low rates of ophthalmic injury. Urologists should counsel the patient regarding this potential complication and pro-actively implement preventative strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Robotic Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2024


  • Corneal abrasion
  • Ocular
  • Ophthalmic
  • Prostatectomy
  • Robot


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