In addition to the usual surgical risks such as haemorrhaging or wound infection, two other risks should be mentioned: Initially, all patients will experience incontinence (inability to hold urine in the bladder). This can last for up to one year until the entire closure apparatus has recovered and the functional outcome can be assessed. In rare cases, incontinence can persist. This can then be corrected by further operational measures. However, after several weeks or months, most patients will have regained continence. Because the nerves for erections areally pass along the sides of the prostate, impotence can be expected after surgery.
There are now special surgical procedures for sparing these nerves. Rates of impotence have thus been largely reduced. The advantages and disadvantages of this technique should, however, be discussed with the urologist. The procedure can either be performed conventionally (open) by making a 10–12 cm abdominal incision or laparoscopically (robot assisted; DA VINCI). With respect to radicality and functional outcome, both procedures are equivalent; neither is superior to the other.