A longitudinal assessment of bowel related symptoms and fecal incontinence following radical perineal prostatectomy

Philipp Dahm, Ari D. Silverstein, Alon Z. Weizer, Matthew D. Young, Johannes Vieweg, David M. Albala, David F. Paulson

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38 Scopus citations


Purpose: Recent studies have suggested an increased incidence of fecal incontinence following radical perineal prostatectomy. We provide a prospective and longitudinal assessment of bowel related symptoms of patients undergoing radical perineal prostatectomy. Materials and Methods: A total of 78 patients who underwent radical perineal prostatectomy between January 1 and December 31, 2001 and had a minimal followup of 6 months were included in the analysis. Patient information was obtained from the chart and the bowel domain specific questions of a validated quality of life questionnaire, the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite. The questionnaire was administered to the candidates preoperatively, at 4 weeks following surgery and subsequently at 3-months intervals. A mean bowel function, bother and summary health related quality of life score was calculated at each interval. The duration of new or worsened symptoms with respect to baseline was evaluated using Kaplan-Meier analysis. Results: Symptoms of involuntary stool leakage and rectal urgency were reported by 11.5% (9 of 78) and 19.2% (15) of patients preoperatively. While all bowel related symptoms transiently increased following surgery, rectal urgency was the most persistent symptom, yet normalized in more than 90% of patients within 9 1/2 months. Compared to individual baseline 15.4%, 7.7%, 5.1% and 3.9% of patients reported worsened symptoms of fecal incontinence after 3, 6, 9 and 12 months, respectively. In the subset of 69 patients who denied preoperative fecal incontinence the incidence of involuntary stool leakage was 2.9% by 12 months following radical perineal prostatectomy. Of 10 patients 9 recovered individual health related quality of life score by 6 months after prostatectomy. Conclusions: Longitudinal assessment of self-reported questionnaire data suggests that fecal incontinence and bowel related symptoms are more prevalent following radical perineal prostatectomy compared to baseline, yet resolve in the majority of patients with time in the early postoperative period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2220-2224
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003


  • Fecal incontinence
  • Prostatectomy
  • Quality of life


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