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Arch Ital Urol Androl. 2010 Jun;82(2):109-12.

Laparoscopic versus open radical retropubic prostatectomy: a case-control study at a single institution.

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  • 1Division of Urology, Hospital "Valle d'Itria", Martina Franca TA, Italy.


We retrospectively compared 50 patients treated with open retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) with 50 patients treated with laparoscopic extraperitoneal radical prostatectomy (LRP) at our institution, in the same time period, with a follow-up up to 7 years. We focused on operative data, complications, pathological outcome and mid-term outcome and follow-up in terms of oncological results. The same surgeons performed both operations. The 2 groups were similar with respect to mean patient age, mean prostate specific antigen value, median Gleason score. No previous transurethral resection of the prostate nor neoadjuvant treatment, had been undertaken in both groups of pts. Mean operating time was significantly shorter after open surgery (126 minutes, range 90-185 minutes) [p = 0.03] compared to the laparoscopic group (188 minutes, range 130-250) but it did not differ significantly from the last 20 laparoscopic procedures, in which the time of procedure was reduced to a mean of 155 minutes group (range 140-184 minutes) [p = 0.1]. Mean blood loss (1,150 versus 800 cc) and transfusion rates (55.7% versus 19.6%) in the 2 groups significantly favored the laparoscopic group. Number of lymphnodes dissected during the procedures favoured, but not significantly, the RRP group: for RRP a mean 11 lymphnodes right side, 13 left side (ranges 2-20 and 2-19 respectively), while for LRP a mean of 9 lymphnodes right side, 11 left side (ranges 2-15 and 2-13 respectively) were collected. The complication rate was almost the same in both groups, with no major adverse events nor deaths, (19.2% versus 14.7%) but the spectrum differed. The laparoscopic group had a higher incidence of fever (1.8% versus 3.2% respectively) and subcutaneous or scrotal emphysema, whereas more lymphoceles (6.9% versus 0%), wound infection (2.3% versus 0.5%), embolism/pneumonia (2.3% versus 0.5%) and anastomotic strictures (15.9% versus 4%) occurred after open surgery. Median catheter time was longer after open retropubic prostatectomy (22 versus 8.9 days, respectively) but the continence rates (intended as complete continence with no use of pads) were similar in both groups at 12 months (90.3% versus 91.7%). The rate of positive margins did not differ significantly in groups, and was in all cases very low (8.2% versus 7.0%), prostate specific antigen biochemical recurrence was equivalent (10% vs 10%). Data regarding postoperative sexual function favoured the laparoscopic group, even if no statistical significance was recorded (55% vs 67%). No statistical differences were observed in terms of oncological results, with a 24 months mean follow-up. Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is technically demanding, with an initially longer operative time and learning curve. The overall outcome in our series favours the laparoscopic approach regarding catheterization time, recover of continence and impotence, hospital stay, transfusion rate. The open approach is favoured for the still shorter time necessitating for the procedure. Consequently, at our institution laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is becoming the method of choice.

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