Current Urology Reports

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 248–252

Predicting continence following radical prostatectomy


  • David W. Marsh
    • Department of UrologyNew York University Medical Center
  • Herbert Lepor
    • Department of UrologyNew York University Medical Center

DOI: 10.1007/s11934-001-0087-8

Cite this article as:
Marsh, D.W. & Lepor, H. Curr Urol Rep (2001) 2: 248. doi:10.1007/s11934-001-0087-8


Stress urinary incontinence is a recognized complication following radical prostatectomy. Fortunately, in the hands of experienced surgeons, the overwhelming majority of men ultimately regain urinary continence following the procedure. Most men regain urinary continence 3 to 12 months after the prostatectomy. We have developed and validated a continence index that is administered at the time of catheter removal after radical prostatectomy. This index identifies those men who rapidly regain continence and men who will have permanent incontinence after prostatectomy. The study population was stratified into tertile groups based on the continence scores. At 3 months, 96%, 82%, and 68% of men in the highest, mid, and lowest tertile groups reported using no pads or one small pad. Based on these observations, we recommend initiating biofeedback immediately postoperatively in men with continence scores of 14 or less. At 1 year, 100%, 98%, and 87% of the men in the highest, mid, and lowest tertile group reported using no pads or only one small pad. Men who have continence scores greater than 14 can be assured that they will regain urinary continence within 1 year. To our knowledge, this index is the only validated instrument that predicts the return of urinary continence after radical prostatectomy.

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© Current Science Inc 2001