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J Sex Med. 2009 Jul;6(7):2032-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01269.x. Epub 2009 Apr 23.

Post-radical prostatectomy pharmacological penile rehabilitation: practice patterns among the international society for sexual medicine practitioners.

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Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, Brazil.



Despite the fact that there is minimal evidence-based data supporting it, the concept of pharmacological penile rehabilitation following radical prostatectomy (RP) is receiving great attention.


To define attitudes and practice patterns of clinicians who were members of the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) and/or its affiliated societies.


Members of the ISSM and its regional affiliates were invited to participate in a web-based survey.


Demographic factors, current practice status, and opinions regarding post-RP erectile dysfunction and penile rehabilitation. The statistical methods used included chi-square, Student's t-tests, and logistic regression analysis.


Three hundred-one physicians from 41 countries completed the questionnaire (82% were urologists). Sixty-five percent of the responders had formal sexual medicine specialty training, 44% had uro-oncology specialty training, and 60% performed RPs. Eighty-seven percent performed some form of rehabilitation. As part of the primary rehabilitation strategy, 95% used phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5), 30% used vacuum device, 75% used intracavernosal injections, and 9.9% used intraurethral prostaglandin. Fifty-four percent commenced rehabilitation immediately/just after urethral catheter removal, and 37% within the first 4 months after RP. Neither the number of years in medical practice, clinician age, nor country/region of practice differed between rehabilitation performers and non-performers. With regard to the primary reason for avoiding rehabilitation: 50% responded said it is the cost; 25% said the fact that it is not evidence-based; and 25% said they were not familiar with the concept. Performing rehabilitation was positively associated with urologic oncology training (P = 0.03), performing RP (P < 0.001), and seeing over 50 post-RP patients per year (P = 0.011).


Among ISSM members post-RP penile rehabilitation is widely practiced, commenced early, and based predominantly on PDE5 inhibitors and intracavernosal injections. Clinicians who perform RP or see over 50 such patients per year are the most likely to perform rehabilitation. Cost represents the most common reason for rehabilitation neglect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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