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Indian J Urol. 2019 Jan-Mar;35(1):61-66. doi: 10.4103/iju.IJU_158_18.

A novel intraoperative physician-assigned grading score to predict postoperative return of potency at 1 year after robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy.

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Department of Urology, Larkin Community Hospital, Miami, FL, USA.
Department of Urology, Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, USA.



We examined a novel method of grading nerve sparing in robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy to better predict the potency outcomes of patients at 1-year after surgery. This grading (scale) was based on the surgeon's criteria of intraoperative findings during completion of nerve sparing. This grading was then analyzed statistically to validate its association with potency outcomes.


We devised a study module based on measurable visual cues intraoperatively where the surgeon risk stratified the surgery into four grades depending on the completeness of nerve sparing, keeping in mind the known parameters influencing potency outcomes. A novel grading scale was then proposed and used in this study for the same. We prospectively collected data and retrospectively analyzed 425 patients undergoing robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP) at a high-volume center by a single surgeon.


At 1 year of follow-up, it was found that age, laterality of nerve preservation, weight of prostate, and the surgeon-assigned grading were all statistically significant independent predictors of return of potency in terms of satisfactory penetrative intercourse >50% of times and Sexual Health Inventory for Men ≥17. However, prostate-specific antigen was found not to be a predictor of the same.


Intraoperative physician-assigned grading was found to be the single most significant predictor of the return of potency at 1-year post-RALP.

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