Sural Nerve Interposition Grafting during Radical Prostatectomy

Rev Urol. Winter 2002;4(1):17-23.


In 1997, autologous sural nerve grafting to reconstruct bilaterally resected cavernosal nerves was successfully performed in patients undergoing radical retropubic prostatectomy. After 12 months, one third of these patients had erections sufficient for intercourse. Since that time, patients who have had neurovascular bundle resection and sural nerve grafting have continued to show promising results. For example, within one large cohort of men who had unilateral, nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy, significantly more men who had sural nerve grafting regained potency, and did so in less time, than men who did not have grafting. More importantly, however, with better predictions of the presence of extracapsular disease, nerve-sparing surgery can be performed more selectively, reserving wide resection and sural nerve grafting for patients likely to have extracapsular extension. A multicenter, randomized clinical trial is needed to substantiate the positive outcomes observed with sural nerve grafting.