Erectile dysfunction after radical prostatectomy: prevalence, medical treatments, and psychosocial interventions.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW - This review will discuss erectile dysfunction in prostate cancer patients following radical prostatectomy . It will focus on the prevalence and current treatments for erectile dysfunction as well as the emotional impact of erectile dysfunction and the current psychosocial interventions designed to help patients cope with this side effect.

RECENT FINDINGS - Although there is a large discrepancy in prevalence rates of erectile dysfunction after radical prostatectomy, several recent studies have cited rates as high as 85%. The concept of 'penile rehabilitation' is now the standard of practice to treat erectile dysfunction following radical prostatectomy. However, many men avoid seeking help or utilizing erectile dysfunction treatments. This avoidance is related to the shame, frustration, and distress many men with erectile dysfunction and their partners experience. Recent psychosocial interventions have been developed to facilitate the use of treatments and help men cope with erectile dysfunction. These interventions have shown initial promise, however, continued intervention development is needed to reduce distress and improve long-term erectile function outcomes.

SUMMARY - Erectile dysfunction is a significant problem following prostate cancer surgery. Although there are effective medical treatments, the development of psychosocial interventions should continue to evolve to maximize the assistance we can give to men and their partners.

Current opinion in supportive and palliative care. 2016 Jan 22 [Epub ahead of print]

Jessica C Emanu, Isabelle K Avildsen, Christian J Nelson

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA.