Background and aims. The impact of age on urinary continence recovery after retropubic radical prostatectomy is debated. We tested the impact of age on urinary continence after RRP by comparing 3 age groups, namely < 60 years, 60 to 70 years, and > 70 years.
Methods. From our prospectively-maintained database on retropubic radical prostatectomy (RRP), we identified patients aging < 60 (Group 1), 60-70 (Group 2) and > 70 years (Group 3). Postoperatively, all patients were referred to our continence nurses who assessed them by 24-h pad test and the International Consultation Incontinence Questionnaire (ICIQ-short form)at one week, then monthly for the first year, and then biannually. Patients with a 24-h pad test ≤ 20gr were considered continent.
Results. A total of 498 patients met the inclusion criteria, 108 in Group 1, 263 in Group 2 and 127 in Group 3. Continence recovery rate progressively increased over time in all groups. In spite of group 3 having a trend towards a lower continence rate, differences among groups were not statistically significant. Interestingly, multivariate analysis pointed out that, in spite of elderly patients having greater prostate volume and lower rate of nerve-sparing procedures, no factor including age significantly predicted continence recovery.
Conclusions. Continence recovery after retropubic radical prostatectomy is a complex phenomenon. The present study pointed out that, after having taken into account potentially relevant tested variables, elderly patients were not at higher risk of urinary incontinence after this procedure.