From March 1982 through July 1988, 76 men underwent nerve-sparing radical cystoprostatectomy for carcinoma of the bladder at our hospital. Of the 76 patients 2 (2.6%) had positive surgical margins (dome of the bladder and left ureter) and neither had positive margins at the site of nerve-sparing modifications. Of 3 patients (3.9%) who had local recurrence none had positive surgical margins. The 5-year actuarial local recurrence rate is 7.5%. Thirteen of 76 patients (17%) died of transitional cell carcinoma and 7 (9%) died of other causes, while 53 (70%) are alive without evidence of disease with a mean followup of 38.4 months. The 5-year actuarial survival rates are 64% over-all, 68% without disease and 78% disease-specific. Of the 42 evaluable men who underwent cystoprostatectomy alone 27 (64%) are potent, compared to 2 of the 12 men (17%) who also underwent urethrectomy. We conclude that the nerve-sparing modifications do not compromise cancer control, that local recurrence and survival rates are at least comparable to those achieved with standard radical cystoprostatectomy, and that it is possible to preserve potency in most men undergoing this procedure.
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