Objective: To compare the prevalence and extent of benign glands at the bladder neck (BN) margin in a large population undergoing open retropubic radical prostatectomy (RRP) and robotic-assisted laparoscopic RP (RALP), as RALP was previously suggested to be associated with a higher rate of benign glands at the surgical margin than RRP.
Patients and methods: From 2005 to 2008, 137 RRP and 152 RALP were performed by one surgeon. Pathology slides were re-reviewed while unaware of origin to examine the extent of benign glands at the BN margin (minimal, moderate, or extensive). Statistical analysis was used to assess the prevalence and extent of benign glands in the two procedures.
Results: Benign prostatic glands were present at the margins in 89 (58.2%) RALP and 57 (41.6%) RRP specimens (P= 0.005). There were also a significantly greater extent of benign glands in RALP vs RRP (P= 0.031). After multivariate adjustment for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, clinical stage, and biopsy Gleason score, RALP maintained a significant association with both the presence (P= 0.019) and extent (P= 0.018) of benign glands at the BN. Two patients with organ-confined disease (no cancerous margins) with benign glands at the BN margin had an initially high postoperative PSA level.
Conclusions: Benign prostate glands were present at the BN margin in a greater proportion of RALP than RRP specimens, possibly due to differences in the surgical approach to BN dissection. Additional study is necessary to determine the long-term biological significance, if any, of these histological differences.