What predicts recovery of urinary incontinence and erectile function after a prostatectomy?

Changes in continence and erectile function between 2 and 4 years after radical prostatectomy. By Glickman et al 2009


Key sentence from the paper: “…clinically significant improvements in urinary control and erectile function occur beyond 2 years after radical prostatectomy.


For the full abstract, see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19091349 


Counseling the post-radical prostatectomy patients about functional recovery: High predictiveness of current status. By Vickers et al 2014


Key sentences from the paper: “Patient-reported urinary and erectile function in the first months after radical prostatectomy is an extremely strong predictor of whether a patient will eventually regain potency and continence.


For the full abstract, see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24824411


Commentary: These two papers do not deal with ADT, but rather with the two most distressing side effects of radical prostatectomy, namely urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

What’s intriguing is the contrasting emphasis in the papers. The first one by Glickman et al. points out that there can be a late recovery of both urinary control and erectile functions extending out past two years. The second paper, however, which has a statistician as the first author, presents a far more probing look at the probability of recovery. Yes, it is true that some men recover even after 2 years. However, Vickers et al. suggests that early recovery is the best predictor of long-term recovery.


Glickman L, Godoy G, Lepor H. 2009. Changes in continence and erectile function between 2 and 4 years after radical prostatectomy. Journal of Urology 181(2):731-735.

Vickers AJ, Kent M, Mulhall J, Sandhu J. 2014. Counseling the Post-radical Prostatectomy Patients About Functional Recovery: High Predictiveness of Current Status. Urology 84(1):158-163.