Upfront transection and subsequent ligation of the dorsal vein complex during laparoscopic radical prostatectomy


Hiroshi Sasaki md, Department of Urology, Jikei University School of Medicine, 3-25-8 Nishi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8461, Japan. Email: hs06@jikei.ac.jp


Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy for localized prostate cancer offers several advantages, including creation of a pneumoperitoneum that results in less blood loss than is seen with the corresponding open procedure. Transection of the deep dorsal vein complex remains among the most challenging aspects, however. Safe and secure completion of this procedure is important to minimize blood loss and maximize the chance of cure. Liberal use of coagulation for hemostasis at the dorsal vein complex (DVC) risks thermal damage to the sphincteric muscle. DVC ligation before transection, though commonly performed, can cause loss of some sphincteric fibers and potentially result in delayed recovery of urinary continence. Furthermore, ligation may at times prove difficult, especially in obese patients with a short and broad DVC, a large prostate gland, and a narrow pelvis. The presence of prominent pubic tubercles may further increase the difficulty. We have found that bleeding from the DVC is easily controlled without suture ligation through a combination of a modest pneumoperitoneum with pinpoint coagulation of one or two small arteries that are consistently found in the superficial layer of the complex. Precise, even-level transection is possible under direct vision with no more than modest blood loss. A stitch in a Z-shaped fashion is then applied to the entire transected stump of the DVC. This procedure is simple and easily performed, even by those with limited experience. Here we provide an overview of our current technique.