Nerve-Sparing Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy (RRP)

It is not enough to diagnose prostate cancer early, if the cure is perceived as worse than the disease itself. This was the case 20 years ago, when the radical prostatectomy (developed by Hugh Hampton Young at Johns Hopkins nearly a century ago) was infamous among surgeons and patients for its extreme, often life-threatening bleeding and devastating side effects: One-quarter of the men who survived the operation were left with severe incontinence, and all of them were impotent. The very harshness of the procedure was the catalyst- for change, inspiring the anatomical discoveries that have drastically reduced these side effects.

 

Today, radical prostatectomy cures the vast majority of men with cancer confined to the prostate preserving potency by not removing one or both of the nerve bundles adjacent to the prostate (surgeons didn't even realize these bundles existed two decades ago), which are responsible for erection - does not compromise cancer cure; a recent study found that the odds of cure are just as high. Today, serious bleeding is very rare, preserving potency is common, and few suffer from serious incontinence. In fact, the radical prostatectomy series at the Brady Urological Institute is considered to be the gold standard for cancer cure, to which all other forms of treatment are compared.

Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy

A Detailed description of the Surgical Technique

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