Vesicourethral Anastomotic Stenosis After Open or Robot-assisted Laparoscopic Retropubic Prostatectomy-Results from the Laparoscopic Prostatectomy Robot Open Trial

Eur Urol Focus. 2021 Mar;7(2):317-324. doi: 10.1016/j.euf.2019.10.012. Epub 2019 Nov 9.


Background: Vesicourethral anastomotic stenosis is a well-known late complication after open radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) with previously reported incidences of 2.7-15%. There are few reports of the incidence after robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RALP) compared with RRP.

Objective: The aim was to compare the risk of developing symptomatic stenosis after RRP and RALP, and to explore potential risk factors and the influence of stenosis on the risk of urinary incontinence.

Design, setting, and participants: Between 2008 and 2011, 4003 men were included in a prospective trial comparing RRP and RALP at 14 Swedish centres. Clinical data and patient questionnaires were collected before, during, and after surgery.

Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Stenosis was identified by either patients' reports in questionnaires or case report forms. The primary endpoint is reported as unadjusted as well as adjusted relative risks (RRs), calculated with log-binomial regression models. Data on incontinence were analysed by means of a log-binomial regression model, with stenosis as an independent and incontinence as a dependent variable.

Results and limitations: Symptomatic stenosis developed in 1.9% of 3706 evaluable men within 24 mo. The risk was 2.2 times higher after RRP than after RALP (RR 2.21, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.38-3.53). Overall, urinary incontinence was twice as common in patients who had stenosis (RR 2.01, 95% CI 1.43-2.64).

Conclusions: This large prospective study found an overall low rate of vesicourethral anastomotic stenosis after radical prostatectomy, but the rate was significantly lower after robot-assisted prostatectomy. The risk of stenosis seems to be associated with the number of sutures/takes in the anastomosis, but this was statistically significant only in the RALP group.

Patient summary: We investigated the risk of developing vesicourethral anastomotic stenosis after open and robot-assisted radical prostatectomy. We found that the risk was generally lower than previously reported and lower after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy than after radical retropubic prostatectomy. Urinary incontinence was twice as common in patients with stenosis.

Keywords: Anastomotic stenosis; Prostate cancer; Robotic surgery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Constriction, Pathologic / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy* / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatectomy / adverse effects
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures
  • Urinary Incontinence* / epidemiology
  • Urinary Incontinence* / etiology