To study the feasibility of avoiding a urethral catheter after robotic radical prostatectomy by using suprapubic diversion with a urethral splint, as urethral catheterization is often a source of major discomfort and pain to the patient, and can cause more concern to the patient than the procedure; we present the outcomes of a pilot study.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
This pilot study involved 30 patients; in group 1 (the study group of 10 patients) we used a custom-made suprapubic catheter which provided a small anastomotic splint, multiple holes for drainage and the ability to retract the splint to give a voiding trial before removing the drainage device. Group 2 was a control group of 20 patients who had standard urethral catheterization with an 18 F Silastic Foley catheter. Demographic, intraoperative and outcome data were measured and analysed. Urethral symptoms were recorded using a specially developed questionnaire.
The two groups were comparable in terms of age, serum prostate specific antigen level, body mass index, Gleason scores, tumour stage, operative duration, amount of bleeding, console times, anastomotic leakage and postoperative retention rates. The study group had significantly less penile shaft or tip pain and discomfort during walking or sleeping. No patient in either group had haematuria or clot retention requiring irrigation.
Urethral catheter-less robotic radical prostatectomy is feasible. The advantages are decreased penile shaft and tip pain, and decreased patient discomfort and an earlier return of continence.