Objectives. After radical prostatectomy, the rates for recovery of urinary continence and sexual function reported by experienced surgeons are much higher than the patient-reported outcomes from other centers. It is uncertain whether this represents differences in surgical technique or in the collection of data. This study was performed to determine patient-reported rates of continence and potency after radical prostatectomy performed by an experienced surgeon at a high-volume referral center for the treatment of localized prostate cancer.Methods. Sixty-four men with localized prostate cancer who were potent preoperatively and who had sexual partners underwent anatomic radical prostatectomy between March 1997 and January 1998. A validated disease-targeted quality-of-life survey that assesses function and bother in two organ systems (urinary and sexual) was administered preoperatively and at 3, 6, 12, and 18 months postoperatively.Results. Urinary continence, which was defined as wearing no pads, gradually improved during the first 12 months after surgery, and at 12 and 18 months, 93% of the patients were dry. Throughout the study, 93% to 98% of the patients characterized their urinary bother as none or small. Potency, defined as the ability to have unassisted intercourse with or without the use of sildenafil, improved gradually, and by 18 months, 86% of patients were potent and 84% considered sexual bother as none or small. Although one third of patients at 18 months were using sildenafil intermittently, only 2 patients were not able to have intercourse without its use.Conclusions. Patient-reported rates of continence and potency after radical prostatectomy performed by an experienced surgeon are high. ũ 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.
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