To evaluate the initial results of salvage robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy (SRARP) after recurrence following primary radiotherapy (RT) for localized prostate cancer.
Between December 2002 and January 2008, 11 patients had SRARP with pelvic lymph node dissection by one surgeon from one institution. Six patients had brachytherapy, three had external beam RT (EBRT), one intensity-modulated RT, and one received brachytherapy with an EBRT boost. All patients had prostate cancer on biopsy after RT, with negative computed tomography and bone scan. The mean (range) follow-up was 20.5 (1-77) months.
The mean interval from RT to SRARP was 53.2 months; the mean preoperative prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level was 5.2 ng/mL, the operative duration 183 min and the estimated blood loss 113 mL. One patient had prolonged lymphatic drainage, one had an anastomotic leak, and one had an anastomotic stricture requiring direct vision internal urethrotomy at 3 months. The mean duration of catheterization was 10.4 days and the hospital stay 1.4 days. Three patients had a biochemical recurrence, at 1, 2 and 43 months. In one of two patients with node-positive carcinoma of the prostate the PSA level failed to reach a nadir of zero after surgery. In patients with a minimum follow-up of 2 months, eight of 10 are continent (defined as zero to one pad per day) and two have erections adequate for intercourse with the use of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors.
SRARP after RT-resistant disease recurrence is feasible with minimal perioperative morbidity. Early functional outcomes appear to be at least equivalent with historical salvage RP series. Robotic extended pelvic lymph node dissection is safe and can improve the accuracy of surgical staging. A longer follow-up is necessary to better assess the functional and oncological outcomes.