Standard vs delayed ligature of the dorsal vascular complex during robot-assisted radical prostatectomy: results from a randomized controlled trial

  • Alessandro Antonelli
  • Carlotta Palumbo
  • Alessandro Veccia
  • Simona Fisogni
  • Stefania Zamboni
  • Maria Furlan
  • Simone Francavilla
  • Marco Lattarulo
  • Enrico De Marzo
  • Giuseppe Mirabella
  • Angelo Peroni
  • Claudio Simeone
Original Article



Prospective randomized trial to compare standard vs delayed approach to dorsal vascular complex (s-DVC vs d-DVC) in robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP).


Patients scheduled for RARP were randomized into a 1:1 ratio to receive either s-DVC or d-DVC by two experienced surgeons. In s-DVC arm an eight-shaped single stitch was given at the beginning of the procedure and the DVC was subsequently cut at time of apical dissection; in d-DVC arm the plexus was transected at the end of prostatectomy, prior to apex dissection and then sutured. Primary endpoint was difference in estimated blood loss (EBL) and a sample size of 226 cases was calculated; ad interim analysis was planned after 2/3 of recruitment.


Endpoint was reached at ad interim analysis after 162 cases (81 s-DVC, 81 d-DVC) and recruitment was, therefore, interrupted. Baseline and tumor characteristics were overlapping. EBL was significantly higher in d-DVC arm (mean EBL 107 vs 65 ml, p = 0.003), but without differences in post-operative hemoglobin, transfusions and complications. Overall PSM rate was higher in d-DVC arm (21.0 vs 14.8%, p = 0.323), with statistical significance relatively to organ-confined disease (15.5 vs 3.6%, p = 0.031). Apical involvement was instead significantly higher in s-DVC arm (prevalence in PSM patients 66.7 vs 23.5%, p = 0.020). Post-operative PSA, continence and potency rates were similar between groups.


Standard and delayed approaches to DVC are safe and lead to similar functional outcomes. A delayed approach exposes to a higher risk of PSM in organ-confined disease but with a lower risk of apical involvement.


Dorsal vascular complex Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy Prostate cancer Blood loss Positive surgical margins 



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Urology, Spedali Civili HospitalUniversity of BresciaBresciaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, Spedali Civili HospitalUniversity of BresciaBresciaItaly

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