Randomized controlled trial of barbed polyglyconate versus polyglactin suture for robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy anastomosis: Technique and outcomes

Stephen B. Williams, Mehrdad Alemozaffar, Yin Lei, Nathanael Hevelone, Stuart R. Lipsitz, Blakely A. Plaster, Jim C. Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Background: Transperitoneal robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP) urethrovesical anastomosis is a critical step. Although the prevalence of urine leaks ranges from 4.5% to 7.5% at high-volume RALP centers, urine leaks prolong catheterization and may lead to ileus, peritonitis, and require intervention. Barbed polyglyconate sutures maintain running suture line tension and may be advantageous in RALP anastomosis for reducing this complication. Objective: To compare barbed polyglyconate and polyglactin 910 (Vicryl, Ethicon, Somerville, NJ, USA) running sutures for RALP anastomosis. Design, setting, and participants: This was a prospective, randomized, controlled, single-surgeon study comparing RALP anastomosis using either barbed polyglyconate (n = 45) or polyglactin 910 (n = 36) sutures. Surgical procedure: RALP anastomosis using either barbed polyglyconate or polyglactin 910 sutures was studied. Measurements: Operative time, cost differential, perioperative complications, and cystogram contrast extravasation by anastomosis suture type were measured. Results and limitations: Although baseline characteristics and overall operative times were similar, barbed polyglyconate sutures were associated with shorter mean anastomosis times of 9.7 min versus 9.8 min (p = 0.014). In addition, anastomosis with barbed polyglyconate rather than polyglactin 910 sutures was associated with more frequent cystogram extravasation 8 d postoperatively (20.0% vs 2.8%; p = 0.019), longer mean catheterization times (11.1 d vs 8.3 d; p = 0.048), and greater suture costs per case ($51.52 vs $8.44; p < 0.001). After 8 of 29 (27.6%) barbed polyglyconate anastomosis sites demonstrated postoperative day 8 cystogram extravasation, we modified our technique to avoid overtightening, reducing cystogram extravasation to 1 (6.3%) of 16 subsequent barbed polyglyconate anastomosis sites. Potential limitations include small sample size and the single-surgeon study design. Conclusions: Compared to traditional sutures, barbed polyglyconate is more costly and requires technical modification to avoid overtightening, delayed healing, and longer catheterization time following RALP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)875-881
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Anastomosis
  • Complications
  • Continence
  • Quill
  • Radical prostatectomy
  • Robotic
  • Suture
  • Urine leak

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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