Urinary incontinence is a major concern for patients scheduled for radical prostatectomy. However, after prostatectomy lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) may improve and thus mitigate this concern. We assessed LUTS and its interference with the quality of life (QoL) using the short form of the international continence society male questionnaire (ICSMALESF-Q) in patients before and after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP). Furthermore, we aimed to identify risk factors for postoperative urinary incontinence.

Data of all patients who underwent RARP from 2009 to 2014 were prospectively collected in our customized database. We identified 453 eligible patients for whom a preoperative and at least two postoperative datasets including ICSMALESF-Q were available.

Both the ICSMALESF-Q at 6 months (P<0.001) and the related QoL at 12 months (P<0.01) have significantly improved after RARP (P<0.001). Two years after RARP ICSMALESF-Q and thus LUTS have improved in 64%, remained unchanged in 18% and worsened in 18% of patients. The daily pad use was 0 in 79% and 0 or 1 pad in 95.6%, respectively. Increased patient age (P<0.05) was significantly associated with an increased average number of pads used per day (multiplicative effect: +2.1% pads for each year). Being in the D’Amico low-risk group reduced the average number of pads used by 22% (P<0.05, multiplicative effect 0.780). The prostate volume, planned nerve sparing, adjuvant or salvage radiotherapy, body mass index (BMI), or a history of transurethral resection of the prostate (TUR-P) before radical prostatectomy were not associated with the postoperative pad use or changes in LUTS.

The ICSMALESF-Q and thus LUTS have significantly improved in a majority of patients after RARP and hence the associated QoL improved as well. Preoperative D’Amico low-risk group significantly reduced pad use after RARP, whereas increased age significantly increased postoperative pad use. These results will help providers counsel their patients more appropriately before prostatectomy by focusing not only on pad use and incontinence after RARP, but also on changes of the bothersomeness of LUTS and risk factors in general.

Translational andrology and urology. 2019 Aug [Epub]

Lukas Dommer, Jan A Birzele, Khosrow Ahmadi, Mario Rampa, Daniel J Stekhoven, Räto T Strebel

Department of Urology, Kantonsspital Graubünden, Loëstrasse, Chur, Switzerland., Clinical Bioinformatics, NEXUS Personalized Health Technologies, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.