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Urology. 2002 Nov;60(5):859-63.

Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy: initial 70 cases at a U.S. university medical center.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.



To report our experience with the first 70 cases of laparoscopic radical prostatectomy. Radical retropubic prostatectomy is an accepted therapy for the management of locally confined prostate cancer. Recently, laparoscopic prostatectomy has been introduced as a minimally invasive alternative to open radical prostatectomy. Several published series from Europe have demonstrated that laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is a safe and feasible approach to the management of localized prostate cancer.


From May 2000 to May 2001, transperitoneal laparoscopic radical prostatectomy was performed on 70 men, aged 40 to 76 years, who were appropriate candidates for radical retropubic prostatectomy. Patient characteristics, surgical statistics, and pathologic results were prospectively collected.


The mean preoperative prostate-specific antigen level was 6.6 ng/mL (range 1.5 to 20.7). The preoperative Gleason sum was 6 in 53 patients (75.7%), 7 in 16 (22.9%), and 8 in 1 patient (1.4%). The mean operating time was 274 minutes (range 165 to 495). The estimated blood loss averaged 449 mL (range 50 to 2750), and 4 patients (5.7%) required blood transfusions. In 1 case, we converted to a standard retropubic approach. Two intraoperative (2.9%) and 14 (20%) overall postoperative complications occurred. Positive surgical margins were reported in 8 specimens (11.4%). At a minimum of 3 months' follow-up, 85% reported use of 0 or 1 pad per day. The operative times, amount of blood loss, and complication rate decreased dramatically with experience.


Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is a technically demanding procedure that is a feasible option for the surgical treatment of localized prostate cancer. The morbidity of this operation is significantly less than that of radical retropubic prostatectomy. The laparoscopic approach shows significant promise for reducing surgical morbidity and improving the anatomic radical prostatectomy.

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