Radical prostatectomy: Is complete resection of the seminal vesicles really necessary?

Howard J. Korman, Roger B. Watson, Francisco Civantos, Norman L. Block, Mark S. Soloway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations


Purpose: We determined the frequency of prostate cancer extension into the distal 1 cm. of seminal vesicles, and reconsidered whether complete excision of the seminal vesicles during radical prostatectomy is always necessary. Materials and Methods: After en bloc removal with the specimen in 71 consecutive radical prostatectomies, the distal 1 cm. of each seminal vesicle was transected and separately analyzed for tumor involvement. Results: Mean patient age was 61.8 years (range 40 to 72). Preoperative prostate specific antigen (PSA) ranged from 0.8 to 37 ng./dl. (median 7.3), and 18 patients had a PSA of 10 or more. Clinical stages were T1b in 1 case T1c in 37, T2a in 12, T2b in 10, T2c in 6 and T3a in 1. Preoperative Gleason sums ranged from 4 to 8 (median 6) with 21 patients (30%) having a sum of 7 or more. Of 71 patients 12 (17%) had seminal vesicle invasion (5 bilaterally). In no case did tumor extend into the distal 1 cm. of the seminal vesicle. PSA at diagnosis ranged from 4.2 to 30 ng./dl., with 4 of 12 patients having a PSA of 10 or more. Preoperative clinical stages were T1c in 5 cases, T2a in 3, T2b in 2 and T2c in 2. Five of the 12 patients (42%) had positive surgical margins and 11 (92%) had a postoperative Gleason sum of 7 or more. Conclusions: In 71 consecutive patients undergoing radical prostatectomy no tumor was found in the distal 1 cm. of the seminal vesicles, including 12 with seminal vesicle invasion. We continue to advocate complete excision of the seminal vesicles during radical prostatectomy. However, if dissection is difficult and a small fragment is left behind, the prognosis is unlikely to be altered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1083
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1996



  • prostatectomy
  • prostatic neoplasms
  • seminal vesicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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