The development of advanced laparoscopic techniques and robot-assisted technology has resulted in several new surgical approaches for treating organ-confined prostate cancer. Outcomes with these new or minimally invasive techniques should be assessed carefully to ensure that they are similar to or surpass patients' oncologic and functional outcomes after open radical prostatectomy. This article reviews the current published experience with minimally invasive approaches to increase awareness about viability. Several of the larger series of patients who have undergone laparoscopic (transperitoneal and extraperitoneal) or robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomies are discussed and evaluated critically. Comparisons to published data on open radical prostatectomy are included for completeness. The different minimally invasive techniques are described and contrasted in regard to prostate-specific antigen progression-free survival, surgical margin status, blood loss, transfusion rates, postoperative pain, length of hospitalization, duration of urinary catheterization, potency, continence, and complications. The relative costs of each method are provided. The coexistence of multiple surgical approaches should and can challenge surgeons who perform open and minimally invasive procedures to strive for a new standard of care above and beyond what is accepted today to minimize patient morbidity while maximizing functional and oncologic outcomes.
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