Men who have bariatric surgery often see improvements in their erectile function, according to a recent analysis in Sexual Medicine Reviews (published online in May as an article in press).
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a frequent problem for obese men. They are at higher risk for androgen deficiency, cardiovascular problems, and metabolic syndrome. Many cope with low self-esteem and depression. All of these factors can contribute to sexual dysfunction. Weight loss can help, but the effects of bariatric surgery have been unclear.
“The literature is very controversial on this subject, which justifies the need to analyze what [bariatric surgery] has to offer and identify whether surgery can help the morbidly obese with [ED],” wrote the authors of the current study.
The research team reviewed seven studies involving 555 obese men published between 2008 and 2017. All forms of bariatric surgery (restrictive, malabsorptive, and mixed) were considered. For five studies, outcomes were measured by the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF), using either the erectile function domain of the longer-form IIEF or the entire, but shorter, 5-item IIEF.
Overall, men who underwent bariatric surgery experienced “significant improvement” in their erectile function between baseline and postsurgical follow-ups, with an average 5.66-point increase in the 5-item IIEF assessment and an average 4.10-point increase in IIEF erectile function domain scores.
“The results presented are very useful to assess the impact of bariatric surgery in obese patients. Nevertheless, it does not mean that bariatric surgery is the best, or only, treatment available,” the authors wrote.
“Further studies comparing bariatric surgery with other erectile dysfunction therapies and non-surgical weight loss are required. The real role played by bariatric surgery can be evaluated only after such studies are published,” they added.
Sexual Medicine Reviews
Glina, Felipe Placco Araujo, MD, et al.
“What Is the Impact of Bariatric Surgery on Erectile Function? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”
(Full-text. Published online: May 16, 2017)