A Comparative Analysis of Surgical Scar Cosmesis Based on Operative Approach for Radical Prostatectomy

Mitchell M. Huang*, Zeyad R. Schwen, Michael J. Biles, Ridwan Alam, Andrew T. Gabrielson, Hiten D. Patel, Jeff Day, Phillip M. Pierorazio, Christian P. Pavlovich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: Recent developments in minimally invasive approaches to radical prostatectomy (RP) for localized prostate cancer have improved oncological outcomes, but may also affect surgical scar cosmesis, an important component of survivorship and patient quality of life. Our aim was to evaluate surgical scar appearance based on operative approach to RP using a validated tool for evaluating psychosocial impact of scar appearance. Methods: Men between the ages of 45 and 80 were surveyed on an online crowdsourcing platform. Well-healed surgical scars after open, multiport (MP) robotic (transperitoneal and extraperitoneal), and single-port (SP) robotic RP were digitally rendered on stock photos to control for patient appearance. Respondents evaluated images using the SCAR-Q psychosocial impact domain. Additionally, different RP scars were ranked by appearance and assigned 10-point appearance scores. Results: Two hundred thirty-four surveys were included for analysis (completion rate 84.2%). The median age was 54 (IQR: 49-61) and 35% (85/234) had previous abdominal surgery, of which 45% (38/85) was robotic or laparoscopic. SP scars had better psychosocial impact scores (median 100 out of 100 vs 69 and 58) than MP and open, respectively (both p < 0.001). SP scars were consistently ranked higher by appearance (median rank 1, IQR: 1-1) than MP (2, IQR: 2-3) and open (3, IQR: 3-4) (p < 0.001). SP without assistant port had the highest appearance score (median 9, IQR: 7-9) among all scars (p < 0.001). Conclusion: SP scars scored highest on psychosocial impact and were consistently ranked highest in appearance. These findings may be informative for optimizing both cosmetic appearance and quality of life for patients undergoing RP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-143
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Endourology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021


  • cosmesis
  • minimally invasive surgery
  • prostatectomy
  • robotic surgery
  • single-port

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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