INTRODUCTION: To describe a technique that may facilitate neurovascular bundle preservation during robot-assisted radical prostatectomy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: From December 2007 to January 2008, 10 patients underwent robot-assisted radical prostatectomy with bilateral nerve preservation. Hydrodissection of the neurovascular bundle was performed by injecting a 1:10000 epinephrine solution diluted in 0.9% normal saline into the lateral prostatic pedicle with an injection cannula needle (Wolf). Operative time, blood loss and margin status were assessed when this new technique was utilized. Erectile function status will be analyzed in the future.
RESULTS: Ten potent patients underwent bilateral nerve-sparing robot-assisted radical prostatectomy with hydrodissection. Mean patient age was 54 years old. Mean preoperative Gleason score was 6.5 and mean pretreatment PSA was 7.0. Six patients were clinical stage T1c and four patients were T2a. The mean operative time was 182 minutes, with a range of 148 minutes to 230 minutes. Mean blood loss was 297 cc. Hemodynamic changes were not seen during hydrodissection or after hydrodissection. No intraoperative or postoperative complications developed. None of the ten patients developed delayed postoperative bleeding. Final pathologic stage was pT2 in eight patients, pT3 in one patient and pT4 in one patient. All surgical margins were negative, except in the patient with bladder neck invasion.
CONCLUSIONS: We describe an athermal technique which may facilitate neurovascular bundle preservation. While intraoperative parameters were favorable with hydrodissection, long term sexual function results need to be analyzed.