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Urology. 2008 Dec;72(6):1347-50. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2007.12.027. Epub 2008 Apr 8.

Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy: reducing the learning curve.

Author information

1
Department of Urology, Monash Medical Centre and Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To review the operative results of a single surgeon after a laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP) fellowship to assess whether the LRP learning curve can be abbreviated.

METHODS:

We undertook a prospective study of 50 men who underwent LRP performed by a recently graduated LRP fellowship-trained surgeon. The patient details, operative data, complications, and post-operative followup were collected over the initial 12-month period.

RESULTS:

The median age was 63 years (range, 47 to 72 years) and median follow-up of 6 months (range, 1 to 12 months). The majority of patients had a preoperative clinical stage T1c (30 = 60%) with a median PSA of 6.4 ng/mL. The median operative time was 225 minutes (range, 160 to 360 minutes) and median blood loss was 400 mL. There were three major complications: 1 anastamotic revision and 2 bladder neck contractures. The positive surgical margin rate for pT2 disease was 5% and for pT3 disease was 20%. Continence rates were 87% at 12 months (no pad use); unilateral (14%) and bilateral nerve sparing (34%) yielded early return of potency in 37.5% of men. No conversions, no rectal injuries, and no deaths occurred in the series.

CONCLUSIONS:

The learning curve that has been observed in other series is not seen with regard to operative time or complication rates. Crucially, it is not seen in a positive surgical margin rate. A dedicated fellowship in laparoscopic radical prostatectomy abbreviates the extensive learning curve for this most technically challenging procedure.

PMID:
18400266
DOI:
10.1016/j.urology.2007.12.027
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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