Robot assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy with maximal urethral length preservation technique preserves penile length

J Robot Surg. 2023 Aug;17(4):1525-1530. doi: 10.1007/s11701-023-01548-4. Epub 2023 Mar 3.


Penile shortening is a recognized but neglected side effect of prostate cancer treatment. In this study we explore the effect of maximal urethral length preservation (MULP) technique on penile length preservation after robot assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP). In an IRB approved study, we prospectively evaluated the stretched flaccid penile length (SFPL) pre and post RALP in subjects with a diagnosis of prostate cancer. The multiparametric MRI (MP-MRI) was utilized for surgical planning if available preoperatively. Repeated measures t-test, linear regression and 2-way ANOVA analyses were performed. A total of 35 subjects underwent RALP. Mean age was 65.8 yr (SD: 5.9), preoperative SFPL was 15.57 cm (SD: 1.66) and postoperative SFPL was 15.41 cm (SD: 1.61) p = 0.68. No change in the postoperative SFPL was recorded among 27 subjects (77.1%) while 5 subjects (14.3%) had 0.5 cm shortening, and 3 subjects (8.6%) had 1 cm shortening. Pathologic stage, preoperative MP-MRI and body mass index (BMI) were significant predictors of postoperative SFPL on linear regression analysis, p = 0.001. Among 26 subjects with pathologic stage 2 disease, no statistical difference was seen in repeated measures t-test between pre and postoperative SFPL, 15.36 vs 15.3 cm, p = 0.08. All subjects were continent by 6 months postoperatively, with no complications. We demonstrate that incorporating MULP technique and preoperative MP-MRI preserves SFPL in subjects undergoing a RALP.

Keywords: Maximal Urethral Length Preservation; Multiparametric MRI; Penile length; Radical Prostatectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy* / methods
  • Male
  • Prostatectomy / methods
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures* / methods
  • Robotics*