Inguinal hernia after radical retropubic prostatectomy: risk factors and prevention


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Abstract

The two most frequently occurring and well-described complications of radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) for prostate cancer are incontinence and impotence. Inguinal hernia (IH) has, over the last decade, emerged as an additional complication, with an estimated incidence of 15-20% after RRP. IH is a common lesion in men aged between 50 and 70 years with or without prostate cancer, and the literature indicates that annual incidence is somewhere between 0.5% and 1% in the general male population. Important risk factors for the development of post-RRP IH are previous IH surgery, increasing age, and low BMI. However, subclinical IH at the time of RRP and a lower midline incision seem to be the most important causative factors. Prophylactic procedures and, in the case of clinically detectable IH lesions, concurrent repair during RRP are advocated. Reports on alternative approaches to RRP, such as minilaparotomy RRP, laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (including robot-assisted procedures) and radical perineal prostatectomy have indicated low rates of postoperative IH. The risk of developing IH after prostatectomy should be part of the preoperative risk assessment when making treatment decisions for patients with prostate cancer.

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