Safety and Feasibility of Telehealth Only Preoperative Evaluation Before Minimally Invasive Robotic Urologic Surgery

Raj R. Bhanvadia, Gianpaolo P. Carpinito, Mehraban Kavoussi, Yair Lotan, Vitaly Margulis, Aditya Bagrodia, Claus G. Roehrborn, Jeffrey C. Gahan, Jeffrey Cadeddu, Solomon Woldu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Telehealth utilization has increased dramatically over the past few years due to improvement in technology and the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, no study has examined whether a telehealth visit alone for preoperative evaluation is safe and sufficient before surgery. We examined the safety and feasibility of preoperative telehealth visits alone before minimally invasive urologic surgery. Materials and Methods: Single institution retrospective review of robotic prostate, kidney, and cystectomy procedures between April and December 2020. Cases were dichotomized into those who underwent preoperative evaluation by telehealth only vs traditional in-person visits. Outcomes included complications, blood loss, conversion to open surgery rates, and operative times. We assessed efficiency of care by measuring time from preoperative visit to surgery. Results: Three hundred fourteen patients were included in the study, with 14% of cases (n = 45) being performed after a preoperative telehealth visit. The majority of cases included in analysis were robotic surgeries of the prostate (56.1% of all cases, n = 176) and the kidney (35.0% of all cases, n = 110). Patients seen via telehealth alone preoperatively had no significant differences in any grade of complications, perioperative outcomes, blood loss, operative time, and length of stay. There was no difference in change in anticipated procedure between the groups, and there was no case of conversion to open surgery in the telehealth only group. Time from preoperative visit to surgery was significantly shorter for the telehealth group by 13 days. Conclusions: Our study is the first to analyze the safety of telehealth only preoperative visits before minimally invasive urologic surgery. We found no difference in perioperative outcomes including conversion to open surgery or change in planned procedure. Furthermore, telehealth preoperative visits appeared to facilitate shorter time to surgery. This study has important implications for expediting patient care and medicolegal considerations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1070-1076
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of endourology
Volume36
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022

Keywords

  • minimally invasive surgery
  • perioperative outcomes
  • preoperative evaluation
  • robotics
  • safety
  • telehealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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