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Urology. 2008 Aug;72(2):273-7. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2007.12.040. Epub 2008 Mar 20.

Intraperitoneal effects of extraperitoneal laparoscopic radical prostatectomy.

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  • 1The Brady Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA.



To compare routine radiologic and laboratory findings after extraperitoneal and transperitoneal laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (eLRP, tLRP) and assess relevant clinical correlations.


Fifty consecutive eLRP and tLRP (laparoscopic and robot-assisted) were evaluated. Preoperative complete metabolic panel and complete blood count were determined, and these serum tests and amylase and lipase level measurements were repeated postoperatively. Ten consecutive eLRP and tLRP patients also underwent flat and upright abdominal x-rays. Operative time, perioperative complications, length of hospital stay, and amount of narcotic used were measured for each group.


On postoperative day 1, all eLRP patients evaluated (100%) had radiographic free air in the abdomen, as did 80% of the tLRP patients. Only 1 of 50 patients (2%) had elevated aspartate aminotransferase (eLRP), 2 of 50 (4%) had elevated alanine aminotransferase (both eLRP), and 4 of 50 (8%) had elevated amylase (3 eLRP, 1 tLRP). Postoperative narcotic usage (eLRP 25 +/- 3 mg versus tLRP 23 +/- 5 mg morphine equivalents) and operative times (eLRP 3.6 +/- 0.1 hours versus tLRP 3.8 +/- 0.1 hours) were similar between the groups. Length of hospital stay was lower in the eLRP compared with the tLRP group (1.9 +/- 0.1 days versus 2.2 +/- 0.1 days, P <0.05). Perioperative complications did not differ significantly between groups.


Extraperitoneal LRP and tLRP patients had comparable perioperative outcomes, and few had abnormal serum metabolic laboratory values postoperatively. Unexpectedly, abdominal free air was found in all eLRP patients evaluated radiographically on postoperative day 1, a finding that should be interpreted as normal and not specific for bowel injury in this context.

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