Erectile function after radical prostatectomy: Do patients return to baseline?

The aim of this study was to assess postprostatectomy erectile function compared to preoperative status by subjective patient perception and the abbreviated International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) questionnaire.

The study used data from a prospectively collected database and a cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study in patients following radical prostatectomy. Erectile function was assessed with the IIEF-5 and the question "Is your erectile function as good as before the surgery (yes/no)". Patients were included if they were sexually active before surgery and had at least 1 year of follow-up. The main outcome measure was the proportion of patients returning to self-perceived baseline erectile function. Secondary outcome measures included the proportion of patients returning to baseline erectile function according to the IIEF-5 and predictors of return to baseline function.

Questionnaires from 210 patients were available. Overall, 14 patients (6. 7%) reported that their erections were as good as before surgery. Bilateral nerve-sparing was the only significant predictor of a return to baseline erectile function (p = 0. 004). Forty-three patients (20. 5%), who did not report use of erectile aids, showed no decline in IIEF-5 score. When including patients who used erectogenic aids, 69 (32. 9%) maintained their preoperative IIEF-5 score. On multivariate analysis a low preoperative IIEF-5 score was a significant predictor of return to baseline IIEF-5 score (p < 0. 0001).

Return to subjective baseline erectile function following radical prostatectomy is rare. The IIEF-5 questionnaire may not adequately reflect patients' experience. This should be considered in preoperative patient counselling.

Scandinavian journal of urology. 2015 Nov 05 [Epub ahead of print]

Mikkel Fode, Anders Frey, Henrik Jakobsen, Jens Sønksen

a Department of Urology , Herlev Hospital , Herlev , Denmark ;, a Department of Urology , Herlev Hospital , Herlev , Denmark ;, a Department of Urology , Herlev Hospital , Herlev , Denmark ;, a Department of Urology , Herlev Hospital , Herlev , Denmark ;

PubMed

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