Functional Outcomes Following Nerve Sparing Prostatectomy Augmented with Seminal Vesicle Sparing Compared to Standard Nerve Sparing Prostatectomy: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial

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Seminal vesicle sparing may reduce the risk of neurovascular bundle injury and improve functional outcomes after prostatectomy. While several observational studies have shown better functional outcomes following seminal vesicle sparing approaches, evidence from randomized trials is lacking. We performed a randomized controlled trial comparing functional and cancer control outcomes between nerve sparing prostatectomy augmented with seminal vesicle sparing and standard nerve sparing prostatectomy.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 140 men with early stage prostate cancer were enrolled in a randomized phase II trial comparing nerve sparing prostatectomy augmented with seminal vesicle sparing to standard nerve sparing prostatectomy. Patient reported sexual and urinary functional scores were assessed prior to surgery, and 6 and 12 months postoperatively. Surgical margin status and prostate specific antigen recurrence were evaluated as secondary outcomes.


There were no differences in sexual or urinary function scores after surgery between the study groups. The median urinary incontinence domain score was 92 in the nerve sparing group and 87.5 in the nerve plus seminal vesicle sparing group at 12 months (p = 0.77). Median sexual function domain scores were 73.7 in the nerve sparing group and 77.1 in the nerve sparing plus seminal vesicle sparing group at 12 months (p = 0.29). Margin status and 12-month biochemical recurrence were similar in the groups.


Recovery of continence and sexual function was similar between the groups in this randomized controlled trial. Seminal vesicle sparing did not negatively affect margin status or 12-month biochemical (prostate specific antigen) recurrence. These results suggest limited usefulness of seminal vesicle sparing prostatectomy.

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