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This article has been peer reviewed and was published in Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons Volume 13, Issue 2, April-June 2009, Pages 142-147. The published version is available in April-June 2009 issue. Copyright © Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: We report our institutional experience performing transperitoneal robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP) in patients with prior prosthetic mesh herniorrhaphy to assess the feasibility of this procedure in this patient population. METHODS: From October 2005 to January 2008, transperitoneal robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomies were performed and prospectively recorded. We retrospectively reviewed 309 patients. RESULTS: Twenty-seven patients (8.7%) were found to have a history of prior hernia repair with prosthetic mesh placement. The mean age was 55.7, estimated blood loss (EBL) was 228 mL, operative (console) time was 197 minutes, and length of hospital stay (LOS) was 1.62 days. In contrast, patients undergoing RALP with no history of mesh herniorrhaphy had a mean age of 59.3, EBL of 302 mL, console time of 193 minutes, and LOS of 2.2 days. These differences were not statistically significant. The mesh herniorrhaphy cohort had a lower percentage of organ-confined disease, but no difference was seen in margin status, continence, or potency rates after one year. CONCLUSIONS: Transperitoneal RALP is a feasible option for previously operated on patients with prosthetic mesh herniorrhaphy. Two areas that we identified as critical were the initial step of gaining access for pneumoperitoneum and port placement, and meticulous dissection to expose the mesh, which can be subsequently avoided and left intact. As RALP continues to gain popularity, urologists will continue to exploit the advantages of robotic surgery to perform increasingly challenging cases.

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