OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the insertion of a urethral sling at the time of radical prostatectomy (RP) in men at high risk of urinary incontinence after RP. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Between 1998 and 2000, 49 of 871 men undergoing RP at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, were identified as at risk of urinary incontinence after RP, based on their age (>65 years), previous transurethral resection of the prostate, previous radiation therapy, clinical stage, and obesity (body mass index of ≥30 kg/m2). These 49 men had a suburethral sling inserted at the time of RP, and incontinence after surgery was evaluated using pad counts and patient-completed questionnaires. Retrospectively, incontinence rates and complications in these men were compared with 122 men also at high risk of urinary incontinence after RP who did not have a sling inserted at the time of RP (control group). RESULTS: In all, 29 of 49 men (59%) with a suburethral sling reported using either no pad or one pad per day for urinary leakage at 6 months after RP, compared with 83 of 118 (70%) in the control group. At 12 months after RP, 34 of 46 (74%) men with a suburethral sling reported using no or one pad, compared with 75 of 89 (84%) in the control group. Seventeen (35%) men were treated for urethral stricture in the sling group and 17 (14%) in the control group (P = 0.001). CONCLUSION: The urethral sling modification concurrent with RP is feasible, but does not decrease incontinence compared with a similar group of high-risk patients who did not have the sling modification. In addition, the stricture rate in the sling group was unacceptably high. Currently, we do not recommend the use of a urethral sling at the time of RP.
- Post-prostatectomy incontinence
- Urethral sling
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