Urethral-fixation technique improves early urinary continence recovery in patients who undergo retropubic radical prostatectomy

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Abstract

Objectives

To describe step-by-step an original urethrovesical anastomosis technique (urethral fixation) in patients undergoing retropubic radical prostatectomy (RRP), to compare their early urinary continence recovery with those in a control group receiving a standard anastomosis technique and to identify the predictors of early urinary continence recovery.

Patients and methods

We compared 70 patients who underwent RRP with the urethral-fixation technique with a contemporary control group of 51 patients who received RRP with a standard urethrovesical anastomosis. In the urethral-fixation group, the urethrovesical anastomosis was made using eight single sutures. Specifically, to avoid retraction and/or deviations, we fixed the urethral stump laterally to the medial portion of levator ani muscle. Also, to maintain the normal position in the context of the pelvic floor, we fixed the urethral sphincter deeper to the medial dorsal raphe using a 3–0 polydioxanone suture at the 6 o'clock position before completing the incision of the urethral wall. Urinary continence recovery was evaluated at 1, 4, 8 and 12 weeks after catheter removal. Patients self-reporting no urine leak were considered continent. Uni- and multivariable analyses were used to identify predictors of urinary incontinence at the different follow-up time-points.

Results

The evaluated groups had comparable preoperative variables. At 1 week after catheter removal, 32 (45.7%) patients in the urethral-fixation group and 10 (19.6%) in the control group were continent (P = 0.01). At 4 weeks after catheter removal, 46 (65.7%) patients in the urethral-fixation group and 16 (31.4%) in the control group were continent (P = 0.001). At 8 weeks after catheter removal, 59 (84.3%) patients in the urethral-fixation group and 21 (41.2%) in the control group were continent (P < 0.001). Finally, at 12 weeks after catheter removal, 63 (90%) patients in the urethral-fixation group and 32 (62.7%) in the control group were continent (P = 0.001). The urethral-fixation technique was an independent predictor of urinary continence recovery at 1 week [odds ratio (OR) 4.305; P = 0.002); 4 weeks (OR 4.784; P < 0.001); 8 weeks (OR 7.678; P < 0.001) and 12 weeks (OR 5.152; P = 0.001) after catheter removal.

Conclusions

The urethral-fixation technique significantly improves early urinary continence recovery in comparison with the standard technique. Moreover, our study confirmed that this surgical technique is an independent predictor of urinary continence recovery at 1, 4, 8 and 12 weeks after catheter removal.

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