Purpose: Post-prostatectomy incontinence has an incidence of 5 to 12% and greatly affects quality of life. Since the approval of glutaraldehyde cross-linked collagen there is a renewed interest in injectable urethral bulking agents. We investigated the long-term efficacy and prognostic criteria for transurethral collagen injection therapy for men with post-prostatectomy incontinence.
Materials and methods: From November 1993 to May 1995, 62 men with post-prostatectomy incontinence (54 after radical prostatectomy and 8 after transurethral resection of the prostate) were treated with collagen via a transurethral approach. Median followup was 29.0 months from the date of the last injection procedure.
Results: Social continence was defined as dry or minimal leakage requiring at most 1 pad daily with activity. Of 62 patients 38.7% achieved social continence and 8.1% became totally dry. The success rate was 35.2 for radical prostatectomy versus 62.5% for transurethral prostatic resection patients. Of the patients who achieved social continence with at least 1-year followup 23 (60.9%) remained so with no further treatment. At 2-year followup 21 patients (42.8%) maintained social continence. The success rate was 27.3% for those who wore a penile clamp or condom catheter before treatment (3 of 11 patients), and only 21.4% for those who underwent transurethral incision of a bladder neck contracture (3 of 14). A median of 4 injection procedures and 20.0 ml. collagen were required to achieve social continence.
Conclusions: Transurethral collagen injection therapy is a reasonable treatment option for post-prostatectomy incontinence in select patients in whom more conservative therapy has failed. However, patients who have required a penile clamp, experienced continuous leakage or undergone transurethral incision of a bladder neck contracture are unlikely to respond well to this treatment.