Artificial urinary sphincter implantation in the irradiated patient: safety, efficacy and satisfaction

IK Walsh*, SG Williams, P Mahendra, T Nambirajan, AR Stone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To compare the long-term outcome of artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) implantation in patients after prostatectomy, with and with no history of previous irradiation.

Patients and methods The study included 98 men (mean age 68 years) with urinary incontinence after prostatectomy for prostate cancer (85 radical, 13 transurethral resection) who had an AUS implanted. Twenty-two of the patients had received adjuvant external beam irradiation before AUS implantation. Over a mean (range) follow-up of 46 (5-118) months, the complication and surgical revision rates were recorded and compared between irradiated and unirradiated patients. The two groups were also compared for the resolution of incontinence and satisfaction, assessed using a questionnaire.

Results Overall, surgical revision was equally common in irradiated (36%) and unirradiated (24%) patients. After activating the AUS, urethral atrophy, infection and erosion requiring surgical revision were more common in irradiated patients (41% vs 11%; P <0.05); 70% of patients reported a significant improvement in continence, regardless of previous irradiation. Patient satisfaction remained high, with >80% of patients stating that they would undergo surgery again and/or recommend it to others, despite previous Irradiation and/or the need for surgical revision.

Conclusions Despite higher complication and surgical revision rates in patients who have an AUS implanted and have a history of previous Irradiation, the long-term continence and patient satisfaction appear not to be adversely affected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-368
Number of pages5
JournalBJU International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2002


  • artificial urinary sphincter
  • urinary incontinence
  • prostatectomy
  • radiotherapy
  • outcome
  • MEN

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