DE Neal, PD Ramsden, L Sharples, A Smith, PH Powell, RA Styles, RJ Webb
OBJECTIVES: To determine the symptomatic and urodynamic outcome of elective prostatectomy and to establish whether the outcome is influenced or can be predicted by preoperative urodynamic measurements. DESIGN: Prospective non-randomised study with follow up at a mean of 11 months after operation. Most men were assessed jointly by a urologist and a general practitioner. SETTING: Department of urology in a teaching hospital serving a large district population. PATIENTS: 253 Men listed for elective prostatectomy because of symptoms and low urinary flow rates (less than 15 ml/s) and excluding those already on a waiting list or with acute urinary retention, clinically apparent prostatic cancer, and neurological or cerebrovascular disease; 217 (86%) were followed up. INTERVENTION: Elective prostatectomy. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Classification on the basis of relief of symptoms assessed by patients and urologist and general practitioner and of symptom scores obtained by questionnaire. RESULTS: Of the 217 men followed up, 171 (79%) had a satisfactory subjective review and 155 (72%) had a satisfactory review and also low symptom scores. An unsatisfactory outcome was associated with preoperative symptoms of urge incontinence, small prostatic size and resected weight, low voiding pressures, and low urethral resistance. Preoperative maximum urinary flow rates did not predict outcome. Men with poor outcome could be classified into two groups: those with irritative symptoms who were more likely before operation to have had urge incontinence and detrusor instability and men with symptoms of poor urinary flow who were more likely before operation to have had a small prostate, low voiding pressures, and low urethral resistance. In patients in the second group flow rates or voiding pressures improved little after operation. Men with stable detrusors and either low urethral resistance or low voiding pressures were less likely to do well after prostatectomy, but despite these associations preoperative urodynamic measurements were unable to predict outcome accurately. CONCLUSIONS: Prostatectomy was satisfactory in relieving symptoms and improving urodynamic measurements in most men, but even in those with classic symptoms and low urinary flow rates a substantial minority experienced little improvement afterwards and urodynamic measurements did not accurately predict outcome in individual patients.