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Eur Urol. 2002 Aug;42(2):104-10; discussion 110-1.

Radical prostatectomy by the retropubic, perineal and laparoscopic approach: 12 years of experience in one center.

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  • 1Department of Urology, C.H.U. Henri Mondor, 51 Avenue du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny, 94010, Créteil, France.



We retrospectively evaluated the oncological outcome of radical prostatectomy performed by the retropubic, perineal and laparoscopic approaches.


From 1988 to 2000, 401 patients underwent radical prostatectomy for localized prostate cancer by the retropubic, perineal or laparoscopic approach. Age, clinical stage, preoperative PSA and Gleason score of positive biopsies were noted. Operating time, complication rate, transfusion rate, length of hospital stay, catheterization time and pathological results were reviewed. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to evaluate the likelihood of biochemical recurrence (PSA > or =0.2 ng/ml).


There were no significant differences between the three groups regarding preoperative characteristics, except for PSA (21.4 ng/ml, 13.2 ng/ml, and 11.6 ng/ml for the retropubic, perineal, and laparoscopic approach, p<0.05) and the frequency of stage T1c tumors (31.7%, 47.1% and 63.5%, respectively, p<0.05). The operating time was significantly longer in the laparoscopic approach (285 min) compared to the retropubic and perineal techniques (197 min and 178 min, respectively). The retropubic approach was associated with a higher transfusion rate (26.2% versus 15.9% and 2.9% with the perineal and laparoscopic approaches), longer bladder catheterization time (15.9 days versus 11.7 days and 6.8 days, respectively), and longer hospital stay (15.2 days versus 8.5 days and 7.4 days, respectively) (p<0.05 for each). With the retropubic, perineal and laparoscopic approaches, medical complication rates were 8.3%, 4.2% and 5.1%, and surgical complication rates were 16.5%, 12.7% and 13.1%, respectively. The rates of pathological stage pT2 tumors were 62.1%, 72.2% and 75.9%, in the retropubic, perineal and laparoscopic groups, respectively. Positive surgical margins in pT2 tumors were noted in 19%, 14% and 22%, respectively. The actuarial 3-year recurrence-free survival rates were not significantly different between the three techniques (75%, 85.2% and 84.1%, respectively; 91.7%, 95.8% and 90.4% among patients with organ-confined tumors).


Despite changes in patient selection criteria over time, and the relatively short follow-up, this study showed no significant difference in oncologic outcome between the retropubic, perineal and laparoscopic approaches to radical prostatectomy.

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