A pelvic drain may be avoided after radical retropubic prostatectomy

Marc Savoie, Mark S. Soloway, Sandy S. Kim, M. Manoharan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose: We reassessed the role of routine pelvic cavity drainage to prevent complications after radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP). Materials and Methods: RRP was performed in 116 consecutive patients with clinically localized adenocarcinoma of the prostate. Clinical and pathological information was recorded for each patient. After the prostate was removed and the anastomotic sutures were tied the bladder was filled with saline through the urethral catheter. If there was no significant leakage, a drain was not placed. Results: We did not place a drain in 85 of the 116 patients (73%). There were 3 immediate postoperative complications. In a patient without a drain a urinoma developed that required percutaneous placement of a drain on postoperative day 2. None of the 116 patients had clinical evidence of infection, lymphocele or hematoma. Two patients had hematuria 2 weeks after catheter removal and needed bladder irrigation. Neither patient had a drain. Three patients (drain and no drain in 1 each) were in urinary retention after catheter removal, which required catheter reinsertion for an additional week. None had an anastomotic stricture. Conclusions: The morbidity of RRP is low when performed by those who regularly perform this procedure. If the bladder neck is preserved or meticulously reconstructed, there may be little or no extravasation and, thus, routine drainage may be unnecessary. In properly selected cases morbidity is not increased by omitting a drain from the pelvic cavity after RRP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-114
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003


  • Drainage
  • Prostate
  • Prostatectomy
  • Prostatic neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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