Objectives. To investigate the health-related quality of life of patients who underwent radical prostatectomy performed using retropubic, laparoscopic, and perineal approaches. Methods. A total of 218 men who underwent retropubic prostatectomy, 65 who underwent laparoscopic prostatectomy, and 66 who underwent perineal prostatectomy were enrolled in our survey. A baseline interview was conducted before treatment. Follow-up interviews were conducted in person at scheduled study visits 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery. We measured two validated questionnaires that assessed the general and disease-specific health-related quality of life. Results. The retropubic group reported substantial deterioration in physical limitations, emotional limitations, social function, and bodily pain at 1 month. The perineal group reported less bodily pain just after surgery than the retropubic and laparoscopic groups. After 6 months, however, no significant differences were found among the three groups. Postoperative urinary function remained substantially lower than the baseline level in every treatment group. Each approach with a nerve-sparing procedure showed a similar recovery profile of urinary function postoperatively. The perineal group reported no significant difference in bowel function compared with the other two groups. All of the groups continued to have decrements in sexual function. Conclusions. The results of this study have demonstrated that retropubic, laparoscopic, and perineal prostatectomy have differences in the recovery of general and disease-specific quality of life in the early postoperative period. When performed by an experienced surgeon, the retropubic, laparoscopic, and perineal approaches appear to be equivalent in terms of health-related quality of life.
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