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Active surveillance of prostate cancer patients involves subjecting them to multiple prostate biopsies, and we sought to investigate the effects of this on functional outcomes after robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP). Between May 2009 and December 2009, 367 patients who consecutively underwent RARP by a single surgeon were divided into two groups, one that had single prostate biopsy and another multiple biopsies before RARP. The groups were matched for significant clinicopathologic preoperative variables, and only premorbidly potent low-risk cases that underwent nerve sparing were included. This left 50 and 23 patients for analysis in the single and multiple biopsy groups, respectively. The primary endpoint was potency and continence at 3 and 6 months after surgery. We found continence rates of 84% (83%) and 94% (96%) for single (multiple) biopsy groups at 3 and 6 months, respectively (P=0.88, P=0.77). Multiple biopsy patients had worse postoperative erectile function at 6 months (57% versus 80%, P=0.03). Men subject to multiple preoperative biopsies are more likely to become impotent postoperatively than those who undergo surgery after a single biopsy. This should be borne in mind when counseling men regarding repeat biopsy as part of an active surveillance strategy.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Impot Res

Publication Date





161 - 164


Aged, Biopsy, Erectile Dysfunction, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Peripheral Nerve Injuries, Preoperative Period, Prostate, Prostatectomy, Prostatic Neoplasms, Retrospective Studies, Robotics, Surveys and Questionnaires, Treatment Outcome, Urinary Incontinence