Risk factors for urinary incontinence after radical prostatectomy

James A. Eastham, Michael W. Kattan, Eamonn Rogers, Jeremy R. Goad, Makoto Ohori, Timothy B. Boone, Peter T. Scardino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

490 Scopus citations


Purpose: We identified risk factors associated with urinary incontinence after radical retropubic prostatectomy. Materials and Methods: The time from operation until urinary continence was achieved was determined by chart review and questionnaire in 581 patients who were continent before undergoing radical retropubic prostatectomy between 1983 and 1994. Using univariate and multivariate analyses of data gathered prospectively, we examined risk factors associated with incontinence in these patients. Results: The actuarial rate of urinary continence at 24 months was 91% for the entire patient population and 95% for those treated after 1990. Many factors were associated with the risk of incontinence in univariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis (patient age and weight, degree of obstructive voiding symptoms, prior transurethral resection of the prostate, clinical stage, intraoperative blood loss, resection of neurovascular bundles, postoperative anastomotic stricture and technique of vesicourethral anastomosis). However, in a multivariate analysis the factors that were independently associated with increased chance of regaining continence were decreasing age, a modification in the technique of anastomosis (introduced in 1990), preservation of both neurovascular bundles and absence of an anastomotic stricture. With introduction of the new surgical technique in 1990 the median time to continence decreased from 5.6 to 1.5 months and the rate of continence at 24 months increased from 82 to 95%. Conclusions: While the risk of urinary incontinence after radical prostatectomy is related to the uncontrollable factor of patient age, it is also sensitive to the surgical technique used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1707-1713
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1996


  • prostatectomy
  • risk factors
  • urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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