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Urol Int. 2012;88(2):165-9. doi: 10.1159/000333046. Epub 2012 Jan 10.

Risk of erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation associated with thulium laser vaporesection of the prostate for bladder outflow obstruction: a retrospective study.

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Department of Urology, University Hospitals of Leicester, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, UK.



The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation following thulium:yttrium-aluminium-garnet (Tm:YAG) laser prostate vaporesection (ThuVaRP).


Between January 2009 and June 2010, 113 consecutive patients underwent ThuVaRP for bladder outflow obstruction. Of these, 54 (48%) were included in the study as they were able to maintain an erection for sexual intercourse prior to undergoing ThuVaRP. All patients had benign pathology and had not undergone previous bladder neck surgery. The incidence of erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation was reported at a mean follow-up period of 12 months post-operatively.


The mean patient age was 71 years (range 46-90). The mean follow-up period was 12 months (range 4-21). 11 (20%) patients experienced worsening erectile function with 3 (6%) noticing an improvement. A total of 30 patients (56%) experienced some degree of retrograde ejaculation. 4 patients (7%) noticed an improvement in their ejaculation. Retrograde ejaculation was more common in patients with an indwelling catheter in situ for refractory urinary retention (43 vs. 17%, p = 0.04) and in diabetic patients (27 vs. 4%, p = 0.03). There was an increased trend of erectile dysfunction in men aged ≥70 years, with hypertension and with hypercholesterolaemia, but this was not significant.


Our retrospective study has demonstrated that the overall risk of erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation associated with ThuVaRP is 20 and 56%, respectively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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