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Urology. 2005 Sep;66(3):552-6.

Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy: evaluation of specimen pathologic features to critically assess and modify surgical technique.

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Department of Urology, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia 23510, USA.



To evaluate laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP) specimens for pathologic stage and the malignant and benign surgical margin status to determine areas for improvement in surgical technique. LRP is gaining significant attention as a viable alternative to retropubic radical prostatectomy.


A total of 110 consecutive LRP specimens were retrospectively reviewed. A single experienced genitourinary pathologist examined all slides. In addition, exposure of benign glands at the inked margin was reported. Oncologic data were assessed by standard pathologic examination for stage, grade, and margin status. The pathologic data from year 1 (group 1, 52 patients) were compared with the data from subsequent years (group 2, 58 patients).


The overall positive surgical margin rate was 18.2% (13.5% for pT2 disease). Benign parenchymal exposure was identified in 16 patients (14.5%). Six of these patients had concomitant negative surgical margins for cancer. The positive margin rate for patients with Stage pT2 disease was 22.2% in group 1 and 5.9% in group 2. The positive margin rate was 34.8%, 13.6%, and 13.8% for bilateral, unilateral, and non-nerve-sparing procedures, respectively.


LRP offers comparable surgical margins to those of reported open prostatectomy series. Careful pathologic review provides feedback so that technique modifications can be implemented and the positive margin rates improved further. A low, but significant, positive margin or benign parenchymal exposure rate in pT2 disease indicates room for improvement in the surgical technique. The presence of benign glands at the inked margin is not routinely reported but does provide an additional parameter of surgical adequacy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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