Stories abound about men who undergo prostate cancer surgery only to have the surgery halted when their doctor sees that the cancer has left the gland. The stories go that the doctor stops the surgery leaving the gland and any other visible tumors in place just as they found them.

Current statistics indicate that one can expect similar outcomes between open and robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP) for organ-confined prostate cancer (PCa). However, what role, if any, of primary treatment with RALP in men with locally advanced (T3 or greater) PCa has not been described in detail.

Some researchers prospectively evaluated RALP surgeries performed from October 2005 to November 2008 by a single surgeon. The total number of surgeries was two hundred and twenty (220). Outcomes were assessed in an institutional review board-approved database.

Of two hundred and twenty (220) RALPs, thirty five (35) or fifteen and nine tenths percent (15.9%) were performed for pT3 PCa; none of them had been identified preoperatively. There was no difference in operative time compared with patients with pT2