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BJU Int. 2012 Aug;110(4):580-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2011.10786.x. Epub 2011 Dec 16.

Long-term follow-up of patients undergoing percutaneous suprapubic tube drainage after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP).

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Vattikuti Urology Institute, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


Study Type - Therapy (case series). Level of Evidence 4 What's known on the subject? and What does the study add? • Initial reports of percutaneous suprapubic tube (PST) drainage following RARP demonstrated feasibility and short-term safety, while decreasing patient discomfort and utilization of anti-cholinergic medication. • This study demonstrates the long-term safety and efficacy of bladder drainage by PST; splinting the urethrovesical anastomosis is simply not essential if mucosal apposition is ensured.


• To evaluate the long-term safety and functional outcomes of patients undergoing percutaneous suprapubic tube (PST) drainage after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP).


• Between January 2008 and October 2009, 339 patients undergoing RARP by one surgeon experienced in RA surgery (M.M.) had postoperative bladder drainage with PST and a minimum of 1-year follow-up for urinary function. • Functional outcomes were obtained via patient-administered questionnaire. • Complications were captured by exhaustive review of multiple datasets, including our prospective prostate cancer database, claims data, as well as electronic medical and institutional morbidity and mortality records.


• Urinary function assessed by patient-administered questionnaire was analysed at a mean (sd) follow-up of 11.5 (1.7) months; after RARP with PST placement, 293 patients (86.4%) had total urinary control and only nine (2.7%) required >1 pad/day. • In all, 86 patients (25.4%) never wore a pad; the median time to 0-1 pad/day was 2 weeks (interquartile range [IQR] 0,6); median time to total control was 6 weeks (IQR 1,22). • The mean (sd) follow-up for complications was 23.7 (6.1) months. In all, 15 patients (4.4%) had a procedure-specific complication, of which 13 were minor (Clavien Class I/II 3.8%); one patient had a bladder neck contracture. • In all, 16 patients (4.7%) required Foley placement after RARP for gross haematuria (two patients), urinary retention (three), tube malfunction (four) or need for prolonged Foley catheterization (seven).


• PST placement after RARP is safe and efficacious on long-term follow-up. • Splinting of the urethrovesical anastomosis is not a critical step of RP if a watertight anastomosis and excellent mucosal apposition are achieved.

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