Objectives: Erectile dysfunction is common after surgery for prostate cancer. Potency rates after radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) vary widely among different studies. Since the introduction of the nerve-sparing technique potency rates have increased. Erectile function recovery rates for selected groups of patients are high. However, studies from community practices have shown less favourable outcomes after RP. Methods: We have performed a systematic review of the literature concerning sexual function after RRP and focused on prognostic indicators for a successful sexual outcome. Results: Most important prognostic factors for the return of potency after RRP are preservation of the neurovascular bundles, age of the patient and sexual function before the operation. Neurogenic and vasculogenic factors seem to play an important role in the aetiology of the erectile dysfunction after surgery. The role of preserving the accessory pudendal artery is not certain, although some investigators found significant hemodynamic changes after sacrificing the accessory pudendal artery. Colour Doppler ultrasound studies in combination with intracavernous injection of vasoactive drugs or after PDE-5 inhibitors administration has shown to be a reliable test for vascular factors. Conclusions: After bilateral nerve-sparing RRP sexual potency is preserved in 31-86% of sexually active men with organ-confined disease. The aetiology of impotence following RRP is multifactorial, but neurogenic factors seem to play a major role. Vascular factors may be of importance in selective cases. Colour Doppler ultrasound appears to be the most reliable, non-invasive diagnostic test for erectile dysfunction after RRP in patients who do not respond to pharmacotherapy.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2006.06.009, hdl.handle.net/1765/70177
European Urology : Official Journal of the European Association of Urology
Department of Urology

Dubbelman, Y., Dohle, G., & Schröder, F. (2006). Sexual Function Before and After Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy: A Systematic Review of Prognostic Indicators for a Successful Outcome. European Urology : Official Journal of the European Association of Urology (Vol. 50, pp. 711–720). doi:10.1016/j.eururo.2006.06.009