Intraoperative and perioperative morbidity of contemporary radical retropubic prostatectomy in a consecutive series of 1243 patients: results of a single center between 1999 and 2002

Eur Urol. 2003 Feb;43(2):113-8. doi: 10.1016/s0302-2838(02)00495-5.


Objectives: To up date counselling of patients in an experienced center, we assessed intraoperative and perioperative complications in a consecutive series of contemporary radical retropubic prostatectomy for localized prostate cancer.

Methods: In a prospective study, we analyzed all intraoperative and perioperative complications within 30 days in a consecutive series of 1243 patients undergoing radical prostatectomy between January 1999 and February 2002. All adverse events were graduated in major and minor complications by their severity and sequel.

Results: There were no deaths. Overall, 996 patients (80.2%) were not affected by any complication. Major complications were observed in 50 patients (4.0%), minor complications in 197 (15.8%). Pelvic lymphadenectomy was performed in 861 (69.3%) patients. This procedure was associated with a significantly higher rate of lymphoceles requiring a drainage, 4.2% versus 0.3% (p<0.006) and a higher rate of deep venous thrombosis, 1.4% versus 0.5% (p<0.2), respectively.

Conclusion: Radical retropubic prostatectomy is a safe surgical procedure. Postoperatively the majority of our patients was not compromised by any complication within 30 days. Furthermore, due to a higher rate of lymphoceles and thromboembolic events the indication for pelvic lymphadenectomy should be considered carefully.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatectomy / adverse effects*
  • Prostatectomy / methods
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome