Intrafascial nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy improves patients’ postoperative continence recovery and erectile function: A pooled analysis based on available literatures

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Background:Intrafascial nerve-sparing prostatectomy has been currently applied based on the updated anatomic understanding of periprostatic cavernous nerves, in order to provide patients better postoperative recovery of continence and potency. The aim of our study is to perform a pooled analysis of available literatures regarding the functional outcomes following intrafascial nerve-sparing technique.Methods:The authors performed database searches of articles published till October 2017 on PubMed using following keywords across the “title” and “abstract” field of the records: intrafascial, veil, curtain dissection, high anterior release, incremental nerve sparing, and radical prostatectomy. Fulfilled papers were screened and data were extracted independently by 3 reviewers. Main outcome was the postoperative continence and potency rate stratified by follow-up durations. Both 1-arm and comparative meta-analyses were performed and meta-regression models were conducted to evaluate the confounding factors.Results:Using the electronic search strategy, a total of 71 records were retrieved and 20 studies were finally included, of which 6 were surgical series and 14 were controlled studies. Our 1-arm meta-analysis summarized the pooled continence rates after intrafascial prostatectomy were 59.4%, 76.2%, 89.9%, and 92.2% at postoperative follow-up of 1, 3, 6, and 12 months, respectively. Regardless of the variance in potency definition, the pooled potency rates after intrafascial prostatectomy were 42.2%, 54.2%, and 72.2% at 3, 6, and 12 months, respectively. Comparative analysis showed that the intrafascial group offered better continence rates at 1, 3, and 6 months with an odds ratio (OR) of 2.38 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.73–3.26), 1.82 (95% CI: 1.18–2.82), and 2.19 (95% CI: 1.43–3.34) as compared with the interfascial group. Moreover, potency rate in the intrafascial group was higher at 12 months than in the interfascial group, with an OR of 2.44 (95% CI: 1.35–4.42).Conclusion:Based on the limited evidence, our study demonstrated that intrafascial nerve-sparing prostatectomy could provide patients with earlier recovery of continence and better erectile function compared with conventional interfascial approach, but physiological mechanisms about this technique still need further study.

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