Objectives: A total aim of this study was to assess the incidence of urinary incontinence in patients following radical prostatectomy and determine the factors that may influence this incidence.Methods: A total of 135 men underwent radical retropubic prostatectomy at our center between 1987 and 1997. 120 patients were sent a questionnaire regarding preoperative and postoperative voiding habits. Data collected included preoperative and postoperative continence status, interval to postoperative continence status, associated urinary symptoms, willingness to undergo radical prostatectomy again if need be and additional postoperative procedures. Patient age, date of surgery, number of neurovascular bundles resected at prostatectomy and duration of follow–up were also noted.Results: Of the 120 patients, 116 (96.7%), a mean of 65.2 (range 48–76) years old, responded to the questionnaire. Mean follow–up was 4.3 years (range 1–10.8). Continence was defined as no regular use of pads. Our overall urinary incontinence rate was 14.4%. Of the respondents, 88.8% (103/116) had achieved final continence status by 6 months postoperatively, and 95% (110/116) would undergo surgery again if need be. Of the patients considered incontinent postoperatively, 66.6% had associated urgency. Age, year of surgery, number of neurovascular bundles resected at prostatectomy, preoperative urinary leakage of postvoiding dribbling, postoperative pelvic floor exercises, and anastomotic stricture had no significant impact on postoperative continence status.Conclusions: Using an anonymous self–administered questionnaire, we found a 14.4% incontinence rate after radical prostatectomy. These results allow patients to have realistic expectations when counseled prior to this operation.

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