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Fine-tuning robot-assisted radical prostatectomy planning with MRI


OBJECTIVES: Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) has now become the most common surgical treatment option for prostate cancer (CaP). Clinicopathologic data (i.e., biopsy, digital rectal exam, prostate specific antigen level) and patient-specific factors (e.g., age, erectile function, co-morbidities) are the primary sources of information that urologists use for counseling and treatment decision making. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has evolved along a similar temporal arc to RARP, with increased utilization and precision over the past decade. MRI prior to RARP provides multifaceted adjunctive information, including enhancement of locoregional staging, delineation of spatial anatomic information, and identification of aberrant anatomy, all of which aid in patient treatment counseling and operative planning. This article is designed for urologic surgeons who perform RARP, with the aim of providing a review of prostate MRI imaging and highlighting findings which may specifically alter the operation. METHODS AND MATERIALS: A review of the literature was performed, focusing on the most recent publications. RESULTS: MRI imaging of the prostate has become increasing accurate for the identification, localization, and characterization of CaP lesions. In addition to tumor-specific information, a number of intra- and extra-prostatic findings are consistently identified on MRI which may impact RARP. CONCLUSIONS: MRI provides important information which may alter RARP.

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