Laparoscopic Prostatectomy

Alan J. Wein, MD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
My husband has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. His PSA count is only 3.7 and his Gleason count is 3+3(=6). It has not spread at all so they said he it is very early and he is "curable". A local hospital is doing laparoscopic surgery on prostate cancer. I cannot even find anything on the Internet on this procedure. Do you know of it and have any opinions or comments? My husband is leaning towards this new procedure because the procedure makes it sound so good. Shorter healing time, less chance for the undesirable complications, etc.

Alan J. Wein, MD, Professor and chair of the Division of Urology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Chief of Urology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

Currently laparoscopic prostatectomy it is practiced by only a few individuals. Interested patients should accept the notion that it is not yet an established procedure. If you choose to have this I would suggest that the surgeon be an individual who has done over 50 of these in an untutored environment. Since it is such a new procedure, there is not enough follow up on laparoscopic prostatectomy to determine the rates of cure and risk of recurrence when compared to a standard radical prostatectomy.