Salvage radical prostatectomy for radiorecurrent prostate cancer: Morbidity revisited

Anil Vaidya, Mark S. Soloway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Purpose: With the advent of prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing and transrectal ultrasound guided prostate biopsy there has been stage migration in the diagnosis of prostate cancer, so that more younger men are being diagnosed with organ confined prostate cancer. Many patients elect radiation therapy, while some have recurrent or new prostate cancer with absent systemic disease and life expectancy greater than 10 years. We present our experience with salvage radical prostatectomy in these cases. Materials and Methods: Between 1995 and 2000, 6 men treated with curative intent with radiotherapy for prostate cancer were subsequently treated with salvage surgery for clinically localized prostate cancer. All men had biopsy proved recurrent or persistent prostate cancer, increasing serum PSA, no evidence of systemic disease at surgery and life expectancy greater than 10 years. We assessed the morbidity associated with this procedure and compared results to those in the contemporary literature. Results: Six patients underwent salvage radical prostatectomy. Initial pre-radiation PSA was 4.5 to 15.7 ng./ml. Pre-radiation disease was clinical stage T1c in 5 cases and B2 in 1. The interval from radiotherapy to repeat biopsy was 12 to 48 months. A mean of 6.3 months after local recurrence was detected and before salvage radical prostatectomy was performed 4 patients underwent androgen deprivation therapy. Mean operative time was 195 minutes, intraoperative blood loss was 680 cc, and hospital stay and catheterization time were 3.2 and 13.8 days, respectively. There were no rectal injuries. All 6 patients are impotent, 5 are continent and 1 has mild stress incontinence. There was biochemical failure in 1 case 36 months after salvage radical prostatectomy and no evidence of recurrence in the remaining 5 at a mean followup of 27 months. Conclusions: Salvage radical prostatectomy is a technically challenging procedure. In the past it was associated with a high incidence of rectal injury, urinary incontinence and anastomotic stricture. The results of our relatively small series are encouraging and concur with those of recent studies that the morbidity of salvage radical prostatectomy is lower than previously reported. We believe that salvage radical prostatectomy may be considered a reasonable treatment option in appropriate patients with radiorecurrent prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1998-2001
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Morbidity
  • Prostate
  • Prostatectomy
  • Prostatic neoplasms
  • Salvage therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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