Purpose: To compare the accuracy of detecting tumor location and size in the prostate using both manual palpation and ultrasound elastography (UE). Methods: Tumors in the prostate were simulated using both synthetic and ex vivo tissue phantoms. 25 participants were asked to provide the presence, size and depth of these simulated lesions using manual palpation and UE. Ultrasound images were captured using a laparoscopic ultrasound probe, fitted with a Gore-Tetrad transducer with frequency of 7.5 MHz and a RF capture depth of 4-5 cm. A MATLAB GUI application was employed to process the RF data for ex vivo phantoms, and to generate UE images using a cross-correlation algorithm. Ultrasonix software was used to provide real time elastography during laparoscopic palpation of the synthetic phantoms. Statistical analyses were performed based on a two-tailed, student t-test with α = 0.05. Results: UE displays both a higher accuracy and specificity in tumor detection (sensitivity = 84%, specificity = 74%). Tumor diameters and depths are better estimated using ultrasound elastography when compared with manual palpation. Conclusions: Our results indicate that UE has strong potential in assisting surgeons to intra-operatively evaluate the tumor depth and size. We have also demonstrated that ultrasound elastography can be implemented in a laparoscopic environment, in which manual palpation would not be feasible. With further work, this application can provide accurate and clinically relevant information for surgeons during prostate resection.