We describe our experience and complications of radical retropubic prostatectomy. From March 1983 through December 1990, 620 consecutive patients have undergone an anatomical radical retropubic prostatectomy for the treatment of prostatic carcinoma. The surgical technique we used is described. In 167 patients the procedure included preservation of the neurovascular bundles. There were no modifications in the surgical technique during this period. There were no operative deaths. Mean operating time was reduced from 3 hours in the first 100 patients to 1.5 hours in the last 220 patients. The average blood loss was reduced remarkably as well. There were only 3 cases of rectal injury, which were closed primarily and healed completely. One patient died of acute myocardial infarction 12 days after an uneventful operation. This patient accounted for the only perioperative death in our experience. Early complications occurred in 43 patients (6.9%), including only 2 cases (0.3%) of anastomotic urinary leakage. The late complication rate, excluding incontinence and impotence, was 1.3%. No patient was totally incontinent. Among the patients who were followed for 1 year or longer 95% achieved complete urinary control and 5% experienced stress urinary incontinence. Preservation of sexual function in patients who underwent a nerve-sparing operation was achieved in 71%. Our results indicate that radical retropubic prostatectomy can be performed with low morbidity and without affecting the quality of life in the majority of patients.
- prostatic neoplasms