Between 75% and 80% of men develop erectile dysfunction (ED) after radical prostatectomy (RPE), European scientists report.
Their systematic analysis, published online in July in Andrology, also showed that in the past 17 years, rates of ED “have not substantially improved or changed.”
ED is common after RPE, but it has been unclear exactly how frequently it occurs.
Thus potency rates between 10% and 90% have been reported depending on surgical technique, patient characteristics, and definition of potency. Especially varying definitions of post-operative potency have been a source of confusion.
This prompted a team of Austrian and Swiss researchers to investigate ED rates based on the control arms of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) specifically investigating post-operative erectile function. The goal was to see whether these rates had improved over time.
The team analyzed 11 RCTs published between 1997 and 2014. In total, the trials involved 2009 men, 685 of whom were in control arms. The mean age of the controls was 59 years.
Erections were assessed using either the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) or the Sexual Encounter Profile (SEP). In the latter, the responses to the question “Did your erection last long enough for you to have successful intercourse?” were considered.
However, results of these assessments varied, giving no indication of improving ED rates overall.
Based on their review, the researchers estimated post-operative ED rates of 75-80% for most studies. They added that these rates have not fallen over the past 17 years.
Schauer, I., et al.
“Have rates of erectile dysfunction improved within the past 17 years after radical prostatectomy? A systematic analysis of the control arms of prospective randomized trials on penile rehabilitation”
(Full-text. First published online: July 21, 2015)