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Surg Oncol. 2009 Sep;18(3):233-41. doi: 10.1016/j.suronc.2009.02.009. Epub 2009 Mar 14.

Open, laparoscopic and robotic radical prostatectomy: optimizing the surgical approach.

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  • 1James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institution, Baltimore, MD, United States.


As advances in the understanding of prostatic anatomy led to improvements in functional and oncologic outcomes after prostatectomy of the past few decades, advances in technology and surgical technique have made minimally-invasive prostate surgery a reality. Today patients diagnosed with clinically localized prostate cancer have more surgical treatment options than in the past including open, laparoscopic and robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy. Advantages and disadvantages exist for each modality and lead to subtle differences in the technical execution of the procedure. Evidence from centers of excellence and from experienced surgeons demonstrates that both laparoscopic and robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy appear to be comparable to outcomes achieved with open radical retropubic prostatectomy series. Individual surgeon skill, experience and clinical judgment are likely the stronger predictors of outcome rather than the technique chosen. However, learning curves, oncologic outcomes and cost-efficacy remain important considerations in the dissemination of minimally-invasive prostate surgery. A greater appreciation of the periprostatic anatomy and further modification of surgical technique will result in continued improvement in functional outcomes and oncological control for patients undergoing radical prostatectomy, whether by open or minimally-invasive surgery.

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