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Eur Urol. 2010 Sep;58(3):407-17. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2010.04.032. Epub 2010 May 18.

Complete periprostatic anatomy preservation during robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RALP): the new pubovesical complex-sparing technique.

Author information

1
Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Policlinico Tor Vergata, University of Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy. tasospao2003@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Puboprostatic ligament preservation has been proposed as a method to accelerate continence recovery after radical prostatectomy (RP). However, these ligaments present anatomic continuity with the bladder, and there must be interruption at some point to expose the prostatourethral junction.

OBJECTIVES:

To describe the surgical steps of pubovesical complex (PVC)-sparing robot-assisted laparoscopic RP (RALP) and present the preliminary results of our technique.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:

Thirty PVC-sparing RALP procedures were performed in patients <60 yr with clinically localised prostate cancer between 2007 and 2009 by the same surgeon.

SURGICAL PROCEDURE:

The principles of bladder neck preservation, tension and energy-free dissection of the bundles as well as seminal vesicle sparing are applied. Ventrally, a plane of dissection is developed between the detrusor apron and the prostate. The soft connective tissue between Santorini's plexus and the prostate is blandly dissected, leaving the plexus intact and in place.

MEASUREMENTS:

The rates and location of positive surgical margins (PSM) as well as functional outcomes are presented.

RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS:

Three of 30 patients (10%) had a PSM (two apical margins and one on the left posterolateral side). At catheter removal, 24 of 30 patients (80%) were dry (0 pads), and 6 of 30 patients (20%) needed one security pad. After 3 mo, 22 of 30 patients (73%) presented an International Index of Erectile Function score >17 (with or without phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors). Thirteen of 22 potent patients had an Erection Hardness Score of 3, and 9 of 22 patients had a score of 4. Small sample size, low mean age of enrolled patients (52 yr), and the absence of diseases that could impair the continence and potency recovery are some of the limitations of the study. Moreover, it is difficult to quantify the effect of each applied continence-sparing technique.

CONCLUSIONS:

The holistic preservation of the PVC during RALP is technically feasible. It leads towards an absolute preservation of the periprostatic anatomy that may enhance early functional outcomes. Further studies are needed to confirm our results.

PMID:
20825759
DOI:
10.1016/j.eururo.2010.04.032
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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