The risk of urinary retention following robot-assisted radical prostatectomy and its impact on early continence outcomes


  • Mansour Alnazari Universite de Montreal
  • Marc Zanaty Universite de Montreal
  • Khaled Ajib Universite de Montreal
  • Assaad El-Hakim Universite de Montreal
  • Kevin C. Zorn Universite de Montreal



Introduction: We aimed to evaluate the risk factors of acute urinary retention (AUR) following robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP), as well as the relationship of AUR with early continence outcomes.

Methods: The records of 740 consecutive patients who underwent RARP by two experienced surgeons at our institution were retrospectively reviewed from a prospectively collected database. Multiple factors, including age, body mass index (BMI), international prostate symptom score (IPSS), prostate volume, presence of median lobe, nerve preservation status, anastomosis time, and catheter removal time (Day 4 vs. 7), were evaluated as risk factors for AUR using univariate and multivariate analysis. The relation between AUR and early return of continence (one and three months) post-RARP was also evaluated.

Results: The incidence of clinically significant vesico-urethral anastomotic (VUA) leak and AUR following catheter removal were 0.9% and 2.2% (17/740), respectively. In men who developed AUR, there was no significant relationship with regards to age, BMI, IPSS, prostatic volume, median lobe, nerve preservation, or anastomosis time; however, the incidence of AUR was significantly higher for men with catheter removal at Day 4 (4.5% [16/351]) vs. Day 7 (0.2% [1/389]) (p=0.004). Moreover, patients with early removal of the catheter (Day 4) who developed AUR had an earlier one-month return of 0-pad continence 87.5% (14/16) compared to patients without AUR 45.6% (153/335), with no significant difference at three months.

Conclusions: While AUR is an uncommon complication of RARP, its incidence is much higher than VUA leakage. Further, it is often not well-discussed during patient counselling preoperatively. Moreover, earlier return of urinary continence was observed in patients experiencing AUR following RARP exclusively with catheter removal at Day 4. Future studies are warranted to validate the long-term impact of AUR on continence outcomes.


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How to Cite

Alnazari, M., Zanaty, M., Ajib, K., El-Hakim, A., & Zorn, K. C. (2017). The risk of urinary retention following robot-assisted radical prostatectomy and its impact on early continence outcomes. Canadian Urological Association Journal, 12(3), E121–5.



Original Research