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.