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Keywords:

  • continence;
  • prostatectomy;
  • reconstruction;
  • outcome;
  • robotic

OBJECTIVE

We describe a novel technique of total vesico-urethral reconstruction, which combines the tactics of previous surgeons, and compare the outcome of our innovative changes for return to early continence with prostatectomies with no or partial reconstruction of the vesico-urethral junction.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

Between 1 January 2005 and 5 June 2007 a cohort of 700 patients undergoing robotic radical prostatectomy were prospectively evaluated. Patients in 2005 (214) served as a control group, they received no additional methods to provide support to the vesico-urethral junction; a standard anastomosis was made. Patients in 2006 (304) received an anterior reconstruction only, to provide additional vesico-urethral anastomotic support. Patients in 2007 (182) received the total reconstructive procedure, which included an anterior reconstruction and posterior reconstruction. Outcome data were collected using standardized health-related quality-of-life measures, which included the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite survey, International Prostate Symptom Score, International Index of Erectile Function, and then re-verified by telephone interview with a standardized questionnaire. The follow-up intervals were 1, 6, 12, 24 and 52 weeks. Continence was defined as no pad usage or one small liner used for security purposes only. Baseline variables were also collected.

RESULTS

The percentage of patients who had achieved continence in the control group were: 13%, 35%, 50%, 62% and 82% at the 1-, 6-, 12-, 24- and 52-week follow-up, respectively. The percentage of patients who had achieved continence in the anterior reconstruction group were 27%, 59%, 77%, 86%, and 91%, respectively. The total reconstruction group had continence rates of 38%, 83%, 91%, and 97% at 1, 6, 12, and 24 weeks, respectively. At all the follow-up intervals the continence rate was significantly less in the control group than in the anterior reconstruction group and the total reconstruction group (P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

The total reconstruction procedure is a safe and effective way to achieve an early return to continence. No adverse effects have been observed because of its employment and our data validates that it does provide a statistically significant early return to continence compared with no reconstructive efforts or with only anterior reconstructive efforts.