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Laser dissection of the NVBs during RALP

Posted Aug 06 2010 12:00am

A newly published report provides initial information from a pilot study on the feasibility of laser dissection of the neurovascular bundles (NVBs) during robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP) as a treatment for localized prostate cancer.

Cheetham et al. have assessed a novel flexible fiber-based mechanism for the delivery of CO2 laser energy to enhance the accuracy of NVB dissection during RALP.

Their study used a BeamPath laser fiber for NVB dissection in this pilot study on 10 patients with localized prostate cancer (primary Gleason pattern 3, clinical stage T1c). The initial goal in this study was only to see if the use of the laser technique was feasible and that the laser beam was easily manipulated. This appears to have been the case.

Longer term goals will be to see if the use of the laser-based dissection technique actually helps to improve patient loutcome, specifically in regard to recovery of erectile function and sexual performance post-surgery. The authors state that a larger study has already been initiated to address this question.

The report does note that, “Although the laser did provide extremely accurate dissection, it was unable to serve as an adequate means of larger vessel coagulation.”

Additional information is available in a media release from New-York Presbyterian Hospital and the Columbia University Medical Center

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