In a large series of 2404 men with a mean follow-up of 6.3 plus or minus 4.2 years (range, 1-17) after anatomic RRP for clinically localized prostate cancer, 412 men (17%) have recurred. A detectable PSA was the only evidence of recurrence in 9.7%, whereas 1.7% and 5.8% had local recurrence and distant metastasis, respectively. The overall actuarial 5-, 10-, and 15-year recurrence-free survival rates for these men were 84%, 74%, and 66%, respectively. As demonstrated in the authors' previous reports, the actuarial likelihood of a postoperative recurrence increased with advancing clinical stage, Gleason-score, preoperative PSA level, and pathologic stage. Subdivision of men with Gleason 7 tumors resulted in better stratification. There was a similar actuarial likelihood of postoperative recurrence for men with Gleason 4 + 3 and Gleason score 8 to 10 disease. The actuarial rate of recurrence of tumor for men with Gleason 3 + 4 disease was statistically different from the rate for men with Gleason score 6 or Gleason 4 + 3 disease. The overall actuarial metastasis-free survival rates at 5, 10, and 15 years were 96%, 90%, and 82%, respectively. The overall actuarial cancer-specific survival rates at 5, 10, and 15 years were 99%, 96%, and 90%, respectively. This study provides long-term outcome of patients with clinically localized cancer who underwent RRP between 1982 and 1999. Recognizing that this long-term study includes many patients with more advanced disease diagnosed before the PSA era, caution must be exercised in comparing these results with the outcomes for cohorts of patients treated since 1989. Anatomic RRP is an effective way to manage clinically localized prostate cancer. Excellent long-term results can be obtained with RRP for early stage disease. The proportion of men with early stage prostate cancer will continue to increase with wide use of serum PSA testing and digital rectal examination.