Purpose: Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy has become standard at our institution based on experience with 260 consecutive cases operated on between January 1998 and December 1999. In view of the favorable short-term outcomes we describe our standardized laparoscopic radical prostatectomy technique.
Materials and methods: Two urologists trained in open retropubic radical prostatectomy and laparoscopy combined their experience to develop a specific technique of nonincisional radical prostatectomy for localized prostate cancer. Patients presented with clinical stages T1b to T2 prostate cancer and tumor size was approximately 18 to 130 gm. Operations were performed by 1 senior surgeon and 1 assistant, with the help of a voice controlled robot and with the patient under general anesthesia. The 2, 10 mm. ports and 3, 5 mm. ports were placed in the umbilicus and iliac fossa. The laparoscopic procedure was performed transperitoneally, combining anterograde and retrograde approaches in 7 standardized steps. Urethrovesical anastomosis was performed with 3-zero interrupted sutures tied intracorporeally. Technical details were compiled, summarized and illustrated with schematic views.
Results: Operating time was approximately 3 hours for the last 120 cases. Estimated average blood loss was 250 ml. with a transfusion rate of less than 1%. The conversion rate was 0%. Postoperative pain was minimal and analgesics were generally not required by postoperative day 2. The accuracy of dissection and sutures allowed patients to be discharged home without urethral catheterization starting on postoperative day 3.
Conclusions: Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is now not only feasible, but more importantly reproducible. Each step has been checked and validated, and the procedure is standardized and has definitively replaced the retropubic approach in our practice.