Background and Purpose: The roles and criteria for pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND) are not fully evaluated in patients with low-risk prostate cancer who are treated by laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP). In this study, the outcome of PLND was assessed in terms of the biochemical relapse-free survival rates of low-risk prostate cancer patients who had undergone LRP. Patients and Methods: Included were 286 consecutive patients who were treated with LRP without previous endocrine therapy between 2002 and 2006 at our institution. Failure rates for LRP were compared in 139 patients with low-risk prostate cancer between those who underwent PLND (n=85) and those who did not (n=54). Biochemical relapse-free survival for each group was estimated by Kaplan-Meier analysis. Results: The mean number of retrieved lymph nodes was 5.4±0.4 (range 2-22). The 5- and 7-year biochemical relapse-free survival rates were 90.1% and 88.3% in patients with PLND, and 82.4% and 82.4% in those without PLND (P=0.278), respectively (median follow-up 69.4 mos). None of the 85 patients undergoing PLND had positive lymph nodes. Only one patient had symptomatic lymphocele, and he was treated as an inpatient. The average time needed for PLND was 16 minutes, which corresponded to 7% of the entire operative time. Conclusion: These results indicate that the dissection of pelvic lymph nodes is not related to biochemical relapse-free survival. The omission of PLND in patients with low-risk prostate cancer not only does not adversely affect biochemical relapse-free survival, but might decrease the incidence of complication and operative time of LRP.
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