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Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2013 Sep-Oct;9(5):636-40. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2012.06.010. Epub 2012 Jul 5.

Sexual hormones and erectile function more than 6 years after bariatric surgery.

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Hospital das Clinicas, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.



The long-term effect of bariatric intervention on androgenic hormones and erectile function is not well known. In a prospective comparative study, the profile of sexual function was ascertained. The setting was a large public academic hospital.


A total of 51 patients were included in the present study. Of these, 23 were in the bariatric surgery cohort (with 6-14 yr of follow-up), 14 were obese controls, and 14 were lean controls, aged 30-65 years. The groups were matched for age and, in the case of obese controls, the current body mass index. The measurements included orchidometry, an assessment of gynecomastia, the International Index of Erectile Function, the Aging Males Symptoms questionnaire, the measurement of 12 hormones, and general biochemical measurements.


Bariatric patients lost substantial weight (59.8 ± 12.1 versus 35.1 ± 7.7 kg/m(2)), albeit residual obesity was the rule, with varying degrees of sleep apnea, hypertension, and glucose/lipid aberrations. The total and free testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin levels were greater in the gastric bypass patients than in the obese controls and comparable to those of lean individuals. The International Index of Erectile Function final score revealed no differences; however, the domains of erectile dysfunction (P = .015) and overall satisfaction (P = .028) were better than those in the obese controls, although still lower than those in the lean group. The correlation between the body mass index and the International Index of Erectile Function score in the entire population (n = 51) was negative, as expected, with, however, low r and r(2) indexes (.354 and .125, respectively).


The findings are consistent with long-term normalization of androgenic hormones but less than complete normalization of erectile function. This seeming contradiction might be explained by the remaining or relapsing obesity or its co-morbidities.


Bariatric surgery; Erectile function; International Index of Erectile Function; Roux-en-Y gastric bypass; Sex hormones; Testosterone; Weight loss; orchidometry

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