Urinary incontinence after radical retropubic prostatectomy: the outcome of a surgical technique


A. Moinzadeh, Department of Urology, Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington, Massachusetts, USA.
e-mail: amoinz@yahoo.com


It is a reflection of the many manuscripts submitted on urological oncology in general, and prostate cancer in particular, that I am publishing 10 papers in this section this month. Seven of these relate to the latter subject.

The authors from the Lahey Clinic describe their technique of radial prostatectomy and include a novel method of posterior bladder plication. They report an early return to continence and conclude that the technique is important in achieving their excellent results.

In another study the group from Stockport show that patients often make decisions about types of treatment for prostate cancer having been strongly influenced by their partner, who in turn may have had pre-existing conceptions about this. They recommend early involvement of the partner to help in this very important decision-making.

The two papers on bladder cancer describe possible prognostic factors, both clinical and laboratory-based, from a large experience in Hamburg and Mansoura.


To analyse the incidence of incontinence after radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) and the time to return of continence, using an RRP technique including a novel posterior bladder plication


We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 200 consecutive patients who underwent RRP between September 1995 and February 1997, by one surgeon, at our institution. Patient characteristics including age, preoperative prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level and Gleason grade, were assessed. Continence was assessed before and after RRP by either a third-party patient interview or a prospective validated questionnaire. Continence was defined as not requiring the use of any sanitary pads or diapers. The continence rate was determined immediately after catheter removal, and at 3, 6, 12 and 15 months after RRP.


The mean age of the patients was 59.4 years, the preoperative PSA level 8.5 ng/mL and the Gleason grade 6.1. The time to continence and percentage of continent patients was 63.5% immediately, 82% at 3 months, 91% at 6 months, and 98.5% at 12 months after RRP. At 15 months, 199 of 200 consecutive patients were continent (99.5%).


With our technique there was an early return to continence and only a minor incontinence rate at 15 months. The cumulative effect of sequential technical manoeuvres in our RRP technique, including posterior bladder plication, is critical for continence after RRP.