Anatomical radical cystectomies with en bloc pelvic lymph node dissections were performed post mortem on 10 male cadavers. The traditional technique of radical cystectomy was used on 1 side and the potency-sparing technique was used on the opposite side. The tissue responsible for the differences in the surgical margins with the 2 procedures was examined by routine surgical pathological techniques to determine if it contained lymph nodes. Lymph nodes were identified in the bundle of tissue left in the pelvis with the nerve-sparing radical cystectomy in 6 of the 10 dissections (60 per cent). Because these lymph nodes may represent the potential first site of metastatic disease leaving the bladder, the reader is cautioned about adopting the nerve-sparing radical cystectomy as part of the management of invasive bladder cancer until the long-term sequelae of the procedure are known.
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