Introduction Our institution previously described a surgical technique for preservation of accessory pudendal arteries at radical retropubic prostatectomy. Since then, we have expanded our experience. We now report our refinements in the surgical technique, illustrated with video, and the influence of accessory artery preservation on the recovery of sexual function after radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP). Technical considerations Between 1987 and 2003, 2399 potent men underwent RRP. Of the 2399 men, 84 (4%) were identified with accessory pudendal arteries. Of the 84 men, 52, who underwent bilateral nerve-sparing surgery, were available for evaluation. We identified a control population, without accessory pudendal arteries, who were matched for age, stage, and neurovascular bundle status. Potency was defined as the ability to achieve unassisted intercourse with or without the use of sildenafil. In a Cox proportional hazards model, the effect of artery preservation increased the likelihood of potency more than twofold (relative risk 2.65; 95% confidence interval 1.11 to 6.32; P = 0.028). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a significantly shorter median time to regain potency among those with artery preservation, 6 versus 12 months (P = 0.020). Conclusions Preservation of accessory pudendal arteries may favorably influence the recovery of sexual function and interval to recovery after RRP.
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