Objectives. To compare the general and disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQOL) after laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP) with that after retropubic radical prostatectomy (RRP). Methods. A total of 45 patients who underwent LRP alone and 121 who underwent RRP alone were prospectively enrolled in an HRQOL survey. We measured the general and disease-specific HRQOL with the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form and University of California, Los Angeles, Prostate Cancer Index, respectively. The participants were asked to complete the questionnaires before and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery. Results. No significant differences were found in the preoperative characteristics of the two groups. Repeated measures of analyses of variance revealed significantly different patterns of alteration in the several general HRQOL domains between the RRP and LRP groups. The LRP group tended to have a more delayed recovery than the RRP group in the domain of urinary function and bother. The sexual function and bother of both groups showed a substantially lower score throughout the postoperative period. When the LRP group was divided into two groups according to the surgical period, an apparent improvement in HRQOL was observed in the most recent LRP series. Conclusions. The two approaches showed different patterns of alteration regarding general HRQOL for 1 year after surgery. The LRP group reported delayed recovery of urinary and sexual function, which seemed to affect their general HRQOL. LRP appears to be still an evolving procedure.
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