Full functional-length urethral sphincter preservation during radical prostatectomy - Abstract

Martini-Clinic, Prostate Cancer Centre, University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.


A key prerequisite for urinary continence after radical prostatectomy (RP) is the functional length of the urethral sphincter and the stabilisation of its anatomic position within the pelvic floor.

We describe our modified surgical technique for full functional-length urethra (FFLU) preservation during RP.

We analysed 691 consecutive patients who underwent RP over a 12-mo period (285 without and 406 with the FFLU technique).

The full functional urethra length was preserved by performing an individualised apical preparation strictly along anatomic landmarks, respecting the individual length of the intraprostatically located proportion of the urethral sphincter. Anatomic fixation of the sphincter was reached by a thorough preservation of the pelvic floor and anatomic restoration of the Mueller's ligaments.

Continence rates were assessed at 7 d and 12 mo after removal of the catheter. Continence was defined as the use of no pads and no urinary leakage.

The continence rates were 50.1% and 30.9% 1 wk after catheter removal (p< 0.0001) and 96.9% and 94.7% (p=0.59) at 12 mo after surgery in patients operated on with the FFLU technique versus the non-FFLU technique. In multivariate regression analysis, only the surgical technique correlated significantly with the continence status 1 wk after catheter removal. Neither the overall positive surgical margin rates nor the number of positive margins at the urethral resection border differed significantly between the FFLU and non-FFLU groups (13.6% and 0.5% vs 14.9% and 1.3%, respectively). Although the patients' baseline characteristics were similar in the two surgical groups, the patients were not preoperatively randomised, and the number of patients in the groups was asymmetric.

The combination of an FFLU preparation and improved preservation of the anatomic fixation of the urethral sphincter complex resulted in significantly increased early urinary continence results.

Written by:
Schlomm T, Heinzer H, Steuber T, Salomon G, Engel O, Michl U, Haese A, Graefen M, Huland H.   Are you the author?

Reference: Eur Urol. 2011 Mar 22. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2011.02.040

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21458913

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