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J Urol. 2010 Jul;184(1):136-42. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2010.03.031. Epub 2010 May 15.

Impact of prior prostate radiation on complications after radical prostatectomy.

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Urology Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York and Department of Urology, Montefiore Medical Center (FR), Bronx, New York, USA.



Salvage radical prostatectomy is associated with a higher complication rate than radical prostatectomy without prior radiotherapy but the magnitude of the increase is not well delineated.


A total of 3,458 consecutive patients underwent open radical prostatectomy and 98 underwent open salvage radical prostatectomy from January 1999 to June 2007. Data were collected from prospective surgical and institutional morbidity databases, and retrospectively from billing records and medical records. Medical and surgical complications were captured, graded by the modified Clavien classification and classified by time of onset.


Median followup after salvage radical prostatectomy and radical prostatectomy was 34.5 and 45.5 months, respectively. Patients with salvage had significantly higher median age, modified Charlson comorbidity score, clinical and pathological stage, and Gleason score. They were less likely to have organ confined disease and more likely to have seminal vesicle invasion and nodal metastasis. There was no significant difference in median operative time, blood loss or transfusion rate. The salvage group had a higher adjusted probability of medical and surgical complications, including urinary tract infection, bladder neck contracture, urinary retention, urinary fistula, abscess and rectal injury. Only 1 of 4 potent patients with salvage prostatectomy who underwent bilateral nerve sparing recovered erection adequate for intercourse. The 3-year actuarial recovery of continence was 30% (95% CI 19-41).


Medical and surgical complications of prostatectomy are significantly increased in the setting of prior radiotherapy. Understanding the magnitude of this increased risk is important for patient counseling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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