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Curr Opin Urol. 2013 Mar;23(2):129-34. doi: 10.1097/MOU.0b013e32835d4d41.

A model for managing erectile dysfunction following prostate cancer treatment.

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  • 1USC Institute of Urology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089, USA.



Radical prostatectomy, regardless of the technology used intraoperatively, induces erectile dysfunction for most men who undergo the procedure. For many men, this proves to be transient. Penile rehabilitation strategies have been developed with the goal of increasing the probability and speed of return of sexual function. The purpose of this work is to review the fundamentals of erectile dysfunction relevant to the postprostatectomy patient as well as the components that are often included in penile rehabilitation strategies.


Preservation of smooth muscle tissue is the key to preserving erectile function. This can be accomplished by providing the penis with regular exposure to oxygenated blood through intracaversonal injection therapy or vacuum erection device therapy. Dietary supplementation aimed to increase the nitric oxide production can also be beneficial. As well, chronic administration of PDE5 inhibitors may also help maintain the smooth muscle/collagen ratio in the corporal tissue.


These findings have led to the development of our management model that includes daily vacuum erection device therapy, dietary supplementation and PDE5 inhibitors which is described in detail. The success of any rehabilitation strategy is dependent on the patient compliance which needs to be facilitated by care-giver encouragement and the setting of realistic expectations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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