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J Urol. 1992 Mar;147(3 Pt 2):888-90.

Radical prostatectomy: the pros and cons of the perineal versus retropubic approach.

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Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710.


Radical prostatectomy is frequently recommended for the treatment of localized adenocarcinoma of the prostate. The use of the perineal versus the retropubic approach is mostly dependent upon the experience of the individual surgeon. This study was performed to evaluate the short-term differences between the 2 operations. Between 1988 and 1989, 173 patients were identified with organ confined prostate cancer (stage A or B) who were treated with radical prostatectomy. Of this total population 122 patients underwent radical perineal prostatectomy (group 1) and 51 patients underwent radical retropubic prostatectomy (group 2). The median estimated blood loss for group 1 was 565 cc and for group 2 it was 2,000 cc (p less than 0.001). Group 1 received a median of 0 units of blood during hospitalization, while group 2 received a median of 3 units of blood (p less than 0.001). The total operative time was slightly shorter for group 1 but the anesthesia time was similar for both patient populations. There was no difference in the incidence of positive surgical margins, and in in-hospital and long-term complication rates between the 2 groups. In light of these significant findings it is our belief that the radical perineal prostatectomy is an excellent approach for the treatment of adenocarcinoma of the prostate.

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