Abstract Background. Radical prostatectomy (RP) is worldwide probably the most common procedure to treat localized prostate cancer (PC). Due to a more widespread use of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) testing, patients operated today are often younger and have organ confined disease justifying a more preservative surgery. At the same time, surgical technique has improved resulting in lower risk of permanent side-effects. This paper aims to give an overview of results from modern surgery regarding cancer control and side-effects. A brief overview of the history is given. Material and Methods. A literature research identified recently published papers focusing on outcome and side-effects after RP. Results. One large randomized study (SPCG-4) compared RP and watchful waiting (WW). The study showed that RP was superior to WW in preventing local progression (RR = 0.36), distant metastasis (RR = 0.65) and death from PC (RR = 0.65). Observational studies also show a better outcome for men treated with RP compared to WW. Peri-operative mortality after RP is low in most material around 0.1%. The risk of stricture of the vesico-urethral anastomosis has decreased with improved technique from historically 10–20% to a low incidence of around 2–9% today. Also the risk of incontinence has declined with improved technique. However, while the rates of severe incontinence is usually very low, as many as 30% still report light incontinence after long-term follow-up. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is still a frequent side-effect after RP. This risk is dependent on age, pre-operative sexual function, surgical technique and other risk factors for ED such as smoking, diabetes, etc. In selected subgroups the risk of ED is low. Inguinal hernia is a more recently described complication after open retropubic RP with a postoperative incidence of 15–20% within three years of surgery. Conclusion. RP is an effective method to achieve cancer control in selected patients. With modern technique it is a safe procedure with a low risk of permanent side-effects except for ED.
JONAS HUGOSSON, JOHAN STRANNE, SIGRID V. CARLSSON