Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is an extremely challenging procedure for even experienced laparoscopic surgeons, and it is not practical to expect most urologists to learn the technique. Nevertheless, it is a feasible procedure and has short-term results comparable with conventional radical prostatectomy. For LRP to be an acceptable and reasonable alternative, the oncologic results must be equivalent to the results of RRP, and significant advantages in morbidity (hospital stay, pain, incontinence, impotence) must be attained; otherwise, the steep learning curve and the additional expense of the procedure make it difficult to justify as an alternative therapeutic modality. Beside a reduction in the transfusion rate, no other significant advantages of LRP over radical prostatectomy have been demonstrated definitively to date. As a result, the role of LRP in the management of prostate cancer remains investigational, and patients should be informed appropriately. The oncologic results and low morbidity of nerve-sparing RRP set a high standard for a laparoscopic technique to equal.
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