Routine Postoperative Hemoglobin Assessment Poorly Predicts Transfusion Requirement among Patients Undergoing Minimally Invasive Radical Prostatectomy

Gregory T. Chesnut*, Nicole Benfante, David Barham, Lucas W. Dean, Amy Tin, Daniel D. Sjoberg, Peter T. Scardino, James A. Eastham, Behfar Ehdaie, Jonathan A. Coleman, Timothy F. Donahue, Karim A. Touijer, Vincent P. Laudone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction:An advantage of minimally invasive radical prostatectomy over open surgery is decreased blood loss. At our institution hemoglobin is routinely checked 4 and 14 hours postoperatively. We assessed the relevance of this practice in a contemporary cohort undergoing minimally invasive radical prostatectomy.Methods:We retrospectively reviewed data from patients undergoing laparoscopic or robotic radical prostatectomy at our institution between January 2010 and September 2018. We identified 3,631 patients with preoperative and postoperative hemoglobin values, and assessed the role of routine hemoglobin assessment in determining need for transfusion within 30 days. Medicare reimbursement rates for 2019 were used for cost analysis.Results:Of 3,631 patients in our cohort 44 (1.2%) required transfusion. At 4 hours following surgery the median hemoglobin decrease was 8.0% (IQR 4.8 to 11.4) for patients who did not receive transfusion and 12.5% (9.5 to 19.2) for those who received transfusion. At 14 hours the median decrease was 14.2% (IQR 10.0 to 18.4) vs 33.1% (22.6 to 38.6). Routine hemoglobin assessment had no role in the decision to transfuse in 18 patients (41%). No patient was transfused based on 4-hour values alone. Omitting 1 hemoglobin assessment could have resulted in institutional savings of $37,000 during this period.Conclusions:As transfusion following minimally invasive radical prostatectomy is rare, scheduled postoperative hemoglobin assessments in the absence of symptoms are unnecessary to recognize bleeding events. The largest hemoglobin difference between men who did vs did not receive transfusion was seen at 14 hours postoperatively. Thus, this single hemoglobin evaluation is sufficient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-304
Number of pages6
JournalUrology Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • postoperative care
  • postoperative complications
  • postoperative hemorrhage
  • prostatectomy
  • prostatic neoplasms


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