A Parallel Randomized Clinical Trial Examining the Return of Urinary Continence after Robot-Assisted Radical Prostatectomy with or without a Small Intestinal Submucosa Bladder Neck Sling

Clinton D. Bahler, Chandru P. Sundaram, Naveen Kella, Steven M. Lucas, Michelle A. Boger, Thomas A. Gardner, Michael O. Koch

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Purpose Urinary continence is a driver of quality of life after radical prostatectomy. In this study we evaluated the impact of a biological bladder neck sling on the return of urinary continence after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy. Materials and Methods This study compared early continence in patients undergoing robot-assisted radical prostatectomy with a sling and without a sling in a 2-group, 1:1, parallel, randomized controlled trial. Patients were blinded to group assignment. The primary outcome was defined as urinary continence (0 to 1 pad per day) at 1 month postoperatively. Inclusion criteria were organ confined prostate cancer and a prostate specific antigen less than 15 ng/ml. Exclusion criteria were any prior surgery on the prostate, a history of neurogenic bladder and history of pelvic radiation. A chi-squared test was used for the primary outcome. Results A total of 147 patients were randomized (control 74, sling 73) and 92% were available for primary end point analysis at 1 month. There were no significant differences in baseline or perioperative data except that operating room time was 20.1 minutes longer for the sling group (p=0.04). The continence rate was similar between the control and sling groups at 1 month (47.1% vs 55.2%, p=0.34) and 12 months (86.7% vs 94.5%, p=0.15), respectively. Adverse events were similar between the control and sling groups (10.8% vs 13.7%, p=0.59). Conclusions The application of an absorbable urethral sling at robot-assisted radical prostatectomy was well tolerated with no increase in obstructive symptoms in this randomized trial. However, the sling failed to show a significant improvement in continence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-184
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016



  • laparoscopy
  • prostatic neoplasms
  • robotics
  • urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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