Purpose A vesicourethral anastomotic leak after radical prostatectomy is a common postoperative sequela. Rarely additional intervention is required for a persistent or high output urinary leak. We describe a novel solution to this uncommon complication. Materials and Methods With the patient under general or spinal anesthesia the technique included 19Fr rigid cystoscopy in a partially distended bladder and insertion of 5Fr Single J® ureteral stents over a hydrophilic guidewire under fluoroscopic guidance. The 2 stents were exteriorized via the urethra beside an 18Fr Foley catheter. We monitored urine output and the relative amount of leak. The Jackson-Pratt drains were removed after leakage decreased to 50 ml or less per day. All patients underwent cystogram to ascertain leak resolution before stent removal. Time to continence was estimated using Kaplan-Meier analysis. Results Seven of 1,480 patients (0.5%) required intervention for a prolonged or high output anastomotic leak after radical prostatectomy. Mean time from surgery to stent insertion was 6.2 days (range 2 to 12). Stents were retained an average of 9 days (range 6 to 11), enabling complete resolution of the leak within a mean ± SD of 1.8 ± 0.9 days. Median time to recovery of urinary continence was 20 ± 1.7 weeks. Conclusions Temporary urinary diversion with exteriorized ureteral stents via the urethra is a safe, effective solution for a prolonged or high output anastomotic leak after radical prostatectomy. Recovery of urinary continence may be delayed in this setting but long-term urinary function appears to be unaffected in most patients.
- Urinary diversion
- Urinary incontinence