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Editorial
January 12, 2011

Treatment for Postprostatectomy IncontinenceIs This as Good as It Gets?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Urologic Surgery, Vanderbilt University and VA Tennessee Valley Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC), Nashville, Tennessee.

JAMA. 2011;305(2):197-198. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1984

Urinary dysfunction is a relatively common occurrence after treatment of localized prostate cancer. Stress urinary incontinence, in particular, is a frequent complication following radical prostatectomy and can be quite bothersome to patients; 5 years after radical prostatectomy, the rate of incontinence is 14% to 28% (depending on how incontinence is defined).1 Although new technologies, such as robotic surgery, were introduced with the hope of improving urinary and sexual outcomes, these anticipated benefits have yet to be demonstrated.2 Additional surgical procedures, such as implantation of an artificial urinary sphincter, can satisfactorily address incontinence following prostatectomy.3 However, even though implantation of an artificial sphincter is generally a minor procedure, it adds to the already significant economic burden of prostate cancer4 and requires men to undergo an additional invasive intervention (which most are reluctant to do).

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