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J Sex Med. 2007 May;4(3):538-543. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2007.00486.x.

Penile rehabilitation should become the norm for radical prostatectomy patients.

Author information

Sexual Medicine Program, Department of Urology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA;. Electronic address:
Men's Health Boston, Department of Urology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.



The Journal of Sexual Medicine (JSM) held a debate at the annual fall meeting of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA). The motion was "Penile Rehabilitation Should Become the Norm for Radical Prostatectomy Patients." At the suggestion of several SMSNA members, it was requested that this debate might be of interest to JSM readers in the form of a published controversy.


Two debate speakers with expertise and/or strong opinions in the area of penile rehabilitation submitted their literature-review, evidence-based opinions on the topic.


Literature review of laboratory basic science and clinical research studies on penile rehabilitation.


Penile rehabilitation involves prophylactic procedures designed to improve oxygen delivery to penile erectile tissues, aimed at preserving erectile tissue health and minimizing erectile tissue damage that otherwise occurs during the period of neural recovery to the autonomic cavernosal nerve following radical prostatectomy. There are several studies in the sexual medicine literature on penile rehabilitation after radical prostatectomy, and the positive results appear to support this concept, the rationale, and mechanism. The use of prophylactic penile rehabilitation programs has not been fully elucidated, nor have the results been replicated in large multicenter placebo-controlled trials.


Penile rehabilitation may be performed along with counseling with the couple, vacuum erection therapy, and vacuum erection device therapy if it is the patient and partner's preference, provided that it is undertaken in a safe and effective manner and is monitored closely.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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