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[Editorial] Robotic surgery evaluation: 10 years too late

During 2003–13, the number of radical prostatectomies done with the robot-assisted laparoscopic technique increased from about 1·8% to 85% in the USA despite the lack of high level evidence comparing robotic surgery to the standard, cheaper, open technique. In this issue of The Lancet John Yaxley and colleagues report the early outcomes of the first randomised trial comparing these two techniques and find no difference in quality of life outcomes at 12 weeks. The final results are awaited with interest.