Positive surgical margins at radical prostatectomy: importance of intra-operative bladder neck frozen sections


International braz j urol




OBJECTIVE: To determine if intraoperative frozen sections of the bladder neck during radical prostatectomy (RP) could decrease the incidence of final positive surgical margins at the bladder neck. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This prospective cohort study included 51 consecutive men who underwent anatomic RP at University of Florida & Shands Jacksonville. All patients had intraoperative frozen section of bladder neck sent for analysis. Preoperative, operative, and postoperative data were collected and analyzed. Main Outcome Measures: Outcome measures were intraoperative bladder neck margin status, final pathologic bladder neck margin status, and postoperative urinary complications. Median follow-up for the 51 patients was 22 months. RESULTS: The final positive surgical margin rate was 20% (10 patients). An additional three patients had positive surgical margins at the bladder neck intraoperatively. These patients then had a wider resection of the affected bladder neck until the frozen sections were negative for cancer or prostatic tissue. Final pathologic evaluation of bladder neck margin was negative for tumor or persistent prostatic tissue in all 51 men. CONCLUSION: With intra-operative frozen sections, we were able to obtain a negligible positive bladder neck margin rate. Surgeons who are still on the learning curve for RP should consider intra-operative frozen section of the bladder neck.

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