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Retzius-sparing vs. standard robot-assisted radical prostatectomy for clinically localised prostate cancer: a comparative study




Retzius-sparing robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) is not yet universally accepted due to still limited functional data and some concerns on oncological safety compared to the standard one. We assessed perioperative, pathological and early functional outcomes in patients with clinically localised prostate cancer treated with Retzius-sparing versus standard RARP.


A single-surgeon cohort of 207 consecutive patients undergoing RARP was analysed. A later study group of 102 patients receiving the Retzius-sparing approach was compared with an earlier control group of 105 patients receiving the standard one. Urinary continence recovery 1 week after catheter removal was the primary study outcome. Urinary continence recovery 1, 2, 3 and 6 months after catheter removal, potency recovery 6 months postoperatively, rate of perioperative complications and positive surgical margins were secondary study outcomes.


Patients in the study group reported significantly higher urinary continence recovery rates 1 week (91.2% vs. 54.3%, p < 0.001), 1 month (92.2% vs. 66.7%, p < 0.001), 2 months (95.1% vs. 74.3%, p < 0.001), 3 months (96.1% vs. 83.8%, p = 0.01), but not 6 months (97% vs 90.5%, p = 0.09) after catheter removal compared to controls. Potency recovery rates 6 months after catheter removal were significantly higher in the study than the control group (68.2% vs 51.6%, p = 0.03). On multivariable analyses, the Retzius-sparing approach was an independent predictor of 1-week urinary continence recovery, but not of 6-month potency recovery. There were significant differences neither in perioperative complication rate (9.8% in the study vs. 14.3% in the control group, p = 0.28) nor in positive surgical margin rate (9.8% in the study vs. 8.6% in the control group, p = 0.75).


In a comparative study, we observed a significant improvement in immediate urinary continence, but not in early potency recovery, using the Retzius-sparing compared to the standard approach for RARP, with no increase in perioperative complication and positive surgical margin rate.

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Data availability

The datasets created and analyzed in this study are not publicly available. Requests for data can be addressed to the corresponding author (GG).


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Authors and Affiliations



Conceptualisation: VF. Data curation: MR, MG, MF, LM, GM, MM. Investigation: VF. Resources: VF. Formal Analysis: VF. Writing Original draft: VF. Writing Review & Editing: GG. Supervision: VF, GG.

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Correspondence to Gianluca Giannarini.

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Ficarra, V., Rossanese, M., Gilante, M. et al. Retzius-sparing vs. standard robot-assisted radical prostatectomy for clinically localised prostate cancer: a comparative study. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis (2022).

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