Common Questions: The Procedure
What happens to the prostate after laparoscopic radical prostatectomy?
Once removed by laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, prostates are examined by a pathologist. The inspection of the prostate is a more elaborate evaluation of the state of the prostate cancer than with the pre-surgical prostate biopsy.
In the po-op inspection, the pathologist looks for prostate cancer spread and then assigns the prostate cancer stage. He also assigns prostate cancer grade. In many cases, the post-operative pathology report sheds light where pre-operatively there was none. Because the pathologist has more prostate tissue at his disposal after surgery, he has much better samples from which to determine the grade; Gleason Score is the most common prostate cancer grading system. With the prostate fully in hand, the pathologist can better inspect cancer extension, i.e. stage, than from a core biopsy. He can better determine if the cancer has gone through the capsule or gotten into the adjacent seminal vesicles. If submitted, he can also examine the pelvic lymph nodes for signs of prostate cancer spread.