Injury to the prostatic plexus may occur during radical prostatectomy even with the use of minimally invasive techniques. Reconstruction of these nerves by interpositional nerve grafting can be performed to reduce morbidity. Although the feasibility of nerve reconstruction has been shown, long-term functional outcomes are mixed, and the role of nerve grafting in these patients remains unclear.A retrospective study was performed on 38 consecutive patients who underwent immediate unilateral or bilateral nerve reconstruction after open prostatectomy. Additionally, 53 control patients who underwent unilateral, bilateral, or non-nerve-sparing open prostatectomy without nerve grafting were reviewed. Outcomes included rates of urinary continence, erections sufficient for sexual intercourse, and ability to have spontaneous erections. Analysis was performed by stratifying patients by D'Amico score and laterality of nerve involvement.Unilateral nerve grafting conferred no significant benefit compared with unilateral nerve-sparing prostatectomy. Bilateral nerve-sparing patients demonstrated superior functional outcomes compared with bilateral non-nerve-sparing patients, whereas bilateral nerve-grafting patients displayed a trend toward functional improvement. With increasing D'Amico score, there was a trend toward worsening urinary continence and erectile function regardless of nerve-grafting status.In the era of robotic prostatectomy, interpositional nerve reconstruction is not a routine practice. However, the substantial morbidity experienced in patients with bilateral nerve resections remains unacceptable, and therefore, nerve grafting may still improve functional outcomes in these patients. Further investigation is needed to improve the potential of bilateral nerve grafting after non-nerve-sparing prostatectomy.
View details for DOI 10.1097/GOX.0000000000000422
View details for PubMedID 26301141
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4527626