Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Utilization and impact of surgical technique on the performance of pelvic lymph node dissection at radical prostatectomy: Results from the SEARCH database.


73 Background: Performance of a pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND) with radical prostatectomy (RP) is critical for staging and treatment of high-risk prostate cancer (PC). Conversely, performance of a PLND in low-risk PC contributes to morbidity with minimal benefit. Robot-assisted laparoscopic RP (RARP) is associated with decreased PLND use. We evaluated PLND use over time, stratified by PC risk group and surgical technique. Methods: We used SEARCH to identify men who had open RP (ORP) or RARP from 2006-2013 with complete data. Univariable logistic regression was used to test the association between age, race, BMI, number of positive cores, AUA risk group, year, center, and surgical technique on PLND use. Multivariable logistic analysis was used to examine surgical technique and PLND performance stratified by AUA risk-group. Spearman correlation was used to examine temporal changes in PLND utilization stratified by risk-group and surgical technique. Results: 1,439 men met inclusion criteria. Of these, 66% had a PLND. On univariable analysis, age, year, number of positive cores, AUA risk group, center, and surgical technique were significantly associated with PLND performance (all p<0.02). On multivariable analysis, when adjusted for age, race, BMI, number of positive cores, year, and center, RARP was associated with a 89% decreased use of PLND in the low-risk group, 85% decreased in intermediate risk, and 86% decreased in high risk men (all p≤0.002). Over time, PLND was increasingly used with RARP in low-risk patients (p=0.022); a trend of increased PLND performance with RARP in high risk men was noted (p=0.077) reaching ~85% in 2012-2013 vs. ~95% in ORP. For ORP, PLND use did not significantly change over time except a trend of fewer PLND in low-risk men which decreased to ~35% (p=0.064) in 2012-2013. Conclusions: Regardless of risk group, PLND is markedly less likely to be performed when a RARP is done. While improved over time, PLND remains over-utilized in low-risk men and under-utilized in high risk men regardless of surgical technique.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View