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Ther Adv Urol. 2011 Feb;3(1):35-46. doi: 10.1177/1756287211400492.

Erectile preservation following radical prostatectomy.

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Department of Urology, James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, representing approximately 25% of all new cancer diagnoses in the USA. For clinically localized prostate cancer, the gold standard for therapy remains radical prostatectomy. One of the main adverse effects of this procedure is erectile dysfunction, which can have a significant impact on the patient's quality of life. There are several mechanisms of erectile dysfunction postprostatectomy, including arteriogenic, venogenic and neurogenic types, as well as the potentially heightened risk of postprostatectomy patients to develop Peyronie's disease. The purpose of this review is to explain the various treatment options available, including phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors, intracavernosal injections, intraurethral alprostadil suppositories, vacuum erection devices, and penile prostheses. The role of these therapies in an erectile-dysfunction-treatment function, as well as in penile rehabilitation, will be discussed. Finally, a review of research on novel therapies will also be presented. A comprehensive literature review was performed using the PubMed database. Articles were chosen based on topical relevance and assessed for methodology and major findings. There are data to support the use of each of the therapeutic options in both treatment and rehabilitative roles. More study is needed, however, specifically in regard to penile rehabilitation, to confirm its benefits, as well as to determine optimal rehabilitation protocols.


erectile dysfunction; penile rehabilitation; prostate cancer; radical prostatectomy

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