Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Urol. 1998 Nov;160(5):1761-4.

Pain and quality of life following radical retropubic prostatectomy.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.



We assess pain and quality of life following radical retropubic prostatectomy and determine whether intraoperative anesthetic management has any long-term effects on outcomes.


A total of 110 patients undergoing radical retropubic prostatectomy were randomly assigned to receive epidural and/or general anesthesia. Patients responded to a questionnaire mailed 3 and 6 months following surgery that assessed prostate symptoms, pain related to surgery, quality of life and mood.


No long-term effects of anesthesia were observed. Of the 103 respondents (94%) at 3 months 49% had some pain related to surgery. Although pain was not related to anesthesic technique, patients who had it at 3 months used significantly more pain medication on postoperative day 3. Pain at 3 months was mild, averaging 1.5 on a scale of 0 to 10, and associated with poor perceptions of overall health (p <0.02), and reduced physical (p <0.01) and social (p <0.01) functioning. Pain at 3 months was associated with higher levels of preoperative anxiety (p <0.05). At 6 months 36 of 90 patients (35%) had some pain related to surgery and the impact was similar.


Long-term effects of intraoperative anesthesic technique were not apparent. Mild pain following radical retropubic prostatectomy was common and associated with reduced quality of life, particularly social functioning. Affective distress, particularly anxiety, before surgery and use of pain medications following surgery may be predictors of chronic pain following radical retropubic prostatectomy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk