Robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy after aborted retropubic radical prostatectomy

Keith J. Kowalczyk, Andy C. Huang, Stephen B. Williams, Hua yin Yu, Jim C. Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP) has surged in popularity since US Food and Drug Administration approval in 2000. Advantages include improved visualization and increased instrument dexterity within the pelvis. Obesity and narrow pelves have been associated with increased difficulty during open retropubic radical prostatectomy (RRP), but the robotic platform theoretically allows one to perform a radical prostatectomy despite these challenges. We present an example of a RALP performed following an aborted RRP. A 49-year-old male with intermediate risk prostate cancer and body mass index of 38 kg/m2 presented for RALP after RRP was aborted by an experienced open surgeon following incision of the endopelvic fascia due to poor visualization, a prominent pubic tubercle, and a narrow pelvis. The enhanced visualization and precision of the robotic platform allowed adequate exposure of the prostate and allowed us to proceed with an uncomplicated prostatectomy, which was not possible to perform easily via an open approach. The bladder was densely adherent to the pubis and the anterior prostatic contour and apex were difficult to develop due to a dense fibrotic reaction from the previous endopelvic fascia incision. However, we were able to successfully complete RALP with subtle technical modifications. Estimated blood loss was 160 mL and operating time was 145 min. The patient's pathology was significant for a positive peri-prostatic lymph node and he has been referred to radiation oncology for adjuvant radiotherapy and androgen deprivation therapy. At 3 months follow-up he had a prostate-specific antigen level of 0.06 ng/mL, partial erections, and mild urinary incontinence requiring one pad per day. Superior intracorporeal laparoscopic visualization and improved instrument dexterity afforded by the robotic surgical platform may make RALP the preferred approach in obese men or men with difficult pelvic anatomy who are deemed poor RRP candidates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-304
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Robotic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostatectomy
  • Robotic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Health Informatics


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