Objective: We performed a 2 year longitudinal survey of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) after radical retropubic prostatectomy (RP) in Japanese men with localized prostate cancer. Patients and methods: We measured 112 patients who underwent RP with SF-36 and University of California, Los Angeles Prostate Cancer Index before and 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months after surgery. Results: Patients who underwent RP showed problems in some domains of general HRQOL, but these problems diminished over time. Mental health significantly improved throughout the follow-up period. The urinary function substantially declined at 3 months and continued to recover gradually but never returned to the baseline. Urinary bother at 3 months showed a significant decrease, but at 6 months it returned to baseline. The data of sexual function and bother showed a substantially lower score after RP. Patients lost their sexual desire significantly throughout the post-operative period. After 12 months, the nerve sparing group had significantly better improvement in sexual function than the non-nerve sparing group and this improvement continued up to 2 years after operation. Conclusion: Despite reports of problems with sexuality and urinary continence, general HRQOL was mostly unaffected by RP after 6 months. RP had a favorable impact on mental health. Although urinary function did not completely return to the baseline level even at 2 years after RP, recovery from urinary bother was rapid. RP had serious consequences on libido, erectile function and sexual activity. In the second year, the sexual function of those who underwent RP with bilateral nerve sparing procedure continued to improve.
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