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Curr Opin Urol. 2009 May;19(3):297-302.

Critical appraisal of outcomes following open radical prostatectomy.

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Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.



Radical prostatectomy has evolved enormously over the last 25 years. Improvements include the use of smaller incisions, reduced blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and surgical refinement to improve the recovery of continence and potency. In addition, new technologies and minimally invasive techniques with the potential to further improve patient outcomes have been introduced. This article focuses on outcomes with open radical prostatectomy and is not meant to compare open radical prostatectomy and minimally invasive approaches.


Despite a lack of randomized controlled trials, strong observational cohort studies demonstrate lower rates of positive surgical margins, high 10-year and 15-year biochemical recurrence-free rates, excellent prostate cancer-specific mortality rates, and improved recovery of urinary incontinence and erectile function after open radical prostatectomy. We review publications from the past 24 months regarding oncologic outcome, continence, and erectile function, as well as some earlier manuscripts that emphasize key aspects of open radical prostatectomy.


Today open radical prostatectomy is a less-invasive procedure with low morbidity providing excellent control of clinically localized prostate cancer. Although open radical prostatectomy now accounts for a minority of radical prostatectomies in the United States, the concepts that have improved oncologic and quality-of-life outcomes are equally applicable to minimally invasive procedures.

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