The purpose is to report the United Kingdom’s largest single-centre experience of robotically assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomies (RALP), using the neurovascular structure-adjacent frozen-section (NeuroSAFE) technique. We describe the utilisation and outcomes of this technique. This is a retrospective study from 2012 to 2019 on 520 patients undergoing NeuroSAFE RALP at our Institution. Our Institution’s database was analysed for false-positive frozen-section (FS) margins as confirmed on paraffin histopathological analysis: functional outcomes of potency, continence, and biochemical recurrence (BCR). The median (range) of console time was 145 (90-300) min. In our cohort, positive FS was seen in 30.7% (160/520) of patients, with a confirmatory paraffin analysis in 91.8% of our patients’ cohort (147/160). The neurovascular bundles (NVBs) that underwent secondary resection contained tumour in 26.8% (43/160) of the cases. Biochemical recurrence (BCR) was 6.7% (35/520), of which FS was positive in 40% (14/35) of those cases. There were insufficient evidence of a statistical association of urinary incontinence and positive surgical margin rates according to NS or NVB resection. NeuroSAFE enables intraoperative confirmation of the oncologic safety of a NS procedure. Patients with a positive FS on NeuroSAFE can be converted to a negative surgical margin (NSM) by ipsilateral wide resection. This spared 1 in 4 men from positive margins posterolaterally in our series. Limitations are the absence of a matched contemporary cohort of NS RALP without NeuroSAFE in our centre.© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature.
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Neil H Spencer