Morbidity of pelvic lymphadenectomy, radical retropubic prostatectomy and external radiotherapy in patients with localised prostatic cancer

Scand J Urol Nephrol. 1994 Sep;28(3):265-71.


Staging pelvic lymphadenectomy (PLND) was performed in 210 prostatic cancer patients (mean age 67 years, clinical stage T0-T3 M0). A radical retropubic prostatectomy was subsequently performed in 54 men, ten of whom also received postoperative radiotherapy due to positive surgical margins. Ninety-eight patients were treated with external beam radiation alone (70 Gy in 35 fractions) and the remaining 58 received endocrine therapy. The complications of PLND alone (156 patients), consisted of wound infection in eight patients, hematoma or lymphocele in seven, venous thrombosis in three, and cardiac infarction in one patient. Early side-effects of radiotherapy included mild to moderate proctitis and/or cystitis in 57 patients. One year after completion of therapy, 48 of the irradiated men had proctitis, but only six had severe symptoms. Four patients developed radiation cystitis and two urethral stricture. Following prostatectomy (54 patients), two patients died in pulmonary embolism and another one developed a deep venous thrombosis. Hematoma occurred in five patients. Of the 42 surviving patients who did not receive postoperative radiotherapy, eight developed anastomotic strictures and four had severe stress incontinence. Only five were fully potent one year after surgery. Eight of the ten patients receiving radiotherapy after prostatectomy developed side-effects from the intestine and/or the urinary bladder. Two of them became totally incontinent. One developed a severe hemorrhagic cystitis necessitating urinary diversion. All ten were impotent after treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lymph Node Excision / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Pelvis
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Prostatectomy / adverse effects*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Radiation Injuries / epidemiology
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Radiotherapy, High-Energy / adverse effects*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology
  • Time Factors