Radical retropubic prostatectomy: Time trends, morbidity and mortality in Japan

Yoichi Arai, S. Egawa, K. Tobisu, K. Sagiyama, Y. Sumiyoshi, K. Hashine, M. Kawakita, T. Matsuda, K. Matsumoto, H. Fujimoto, T. Okada, Y. Kakehi, T. Terachi, O. Ogawa

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86 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. To assess the time trends, morbidity and mortality of contemporary anatomical radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) in a multi-institutional study in Japan, where RRP has become more popular in the last decade. Patients and methods. Between January 1991 and August 1998, 638 patients underwent RRP at seven urological centres in Japan. Major complications (within 30 days of surgery) and the 30-day mortality were reviewed retrospectively, Of the patients, 12.9% were < 60 years old, 56.3% were 60-69 years old and 30.9% were ≥ 70 years old (median age 67). Results. The number of RRPs increased markedly, by more than sevenfold, from 1991-92 to 1996-97, mainly because there were more patients undergoing RRP in their sixth decade. The contribution of T1c disease increased in absolute and relative terms, from 13.9% in 1991-92 to 37.9% in 1997-98. Over time, the mean blood loss and the allogeneic transfusion rate decreased steadily. There was a trend toward more favourable outcomes for pathological variables (an increased percentage of organ-confined disease, decreased margin positivity and a decreased incidence of positive lymph node metastasis). The most common complications were wound-related (7.5%), or anastomotic leakage (4.1%). Major cardiopulmonary complications occurred in only two patients (0.31%, both pulmonary embolisms). One patient died from cerebral haemorrhage within 30 days of surgery, giving a mortality rate of 0.16%. Conclusions. This study indicates a trend towards selecting patients most likely to benefit from RRP. Although the procedure is technically demanding, it can have an acceptably low rate of early complications, little mortality and need for allogeneic transfusion. The assessment of morbidity suggests a lower incidence of catastrophic thrombo-embolic and cardiac complications in Japanese patients than in Western men. The present data may be useful in decision-analysis models evaluating the role of therapy for Asian men with early-stage prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-294
Number of pages8
JournalBJU International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Asian men
  • Complications
  • Morbidity
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostatectomy
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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