Anastomotic stricture (AS) following radical prostatectomy (RP) decreases patients' quality of life. It occurs in 0.5% to 32% of men after open radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP), although its etiology is poorly understood. In a series of patients who received RRP, we analyzed the incidence, possible predisposing factors, and management of AS after RP.
Between April 1997 and March 2006, 129 consecutive patients underwent RRP in our hospital. Anastomosis between the bladder neck and urethra was performed with interrupted anastomosis using four 2-0 absorbable sutures. AS was diagnosed when a 16Fr. panendoscope could not be passed. We assessed the relationship between the management method for AS and time interval between the surgical procedure and diagnosis of the stricture. The relationships between comorbidities identified preoperatively (hypertension [HT], diabetes mellitus [DM], cardiovascular disease [CVD], cerebral infarction [CI] and smoking history) and the incidence of AS were determined. Risk factors, including age, body mass index [BMI], preoperative PSA, total prostate volume, operative time, blood loss, Foley duration, amount of stress urinary incontinence (SUI) per day, amount of drain output, pathological T stage, Gleason sum and surgical margin status were also assessed.
The rate of AS after RRP was 10.9% (14/129). In 10 patients (72%), AS occurred within 3 months of surgery, in 2 (14%) it occurred at 4-12 months after surgery and in 2 (14%) more than 12 months after surgery. In univariate and multivariate analyses, intraoperative bleeding of 1,800 ml or more was independently the strongest predictor of AS. In two patients a urethral bougie was used and 11 underwent internal urethrotomy. Only 1 patient underwent transurethral resection. Of the 8 patients whose strictures were diagnosed within 3 months after surgery and underwent internal urethrotomy, 6 had recurrent anastomotic strictures.
Risk factors for AS are thought to be multifactorial. Intraoperative blood loss was significantly associated with the development of anastomotic stricture. We should understand that anastomotic stricture following radical retropubic prostatectomy is not a rare morbidity and should inform patients about the possibility of postoperative AS.