Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Urology. 1997 Nov;50(5):740-6.

Quality of life and sexuality following radical prostatectomy in patients with prostate cancer who use or do not use erectile aids.

Author information

Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles 90089-1061, USA.



It is well established that prostate cancer patients undergoing radical prostatectomy may experience disruptive side effects, most notably urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. The purpose of this study is to compare relevant outcomes between patients awaiting radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer and patients who already underwent the surgery, taking into account type of prostatectomy and use of erectile aids.


We compared self-reports of global quality of life, sexuality, urinary continence, and physical capabilities in 86 nerve-sparing patients, 89 standard-prostatectomy patients, 74 prostatectomy patients who used erectile aids, and a comparison group of 45 patients awaiting radical prostatectomy.


Regardless of type of surgery, use of erectile aid, or preoperative status, most patients reported good quality of life. The best outcomes in sexuality were reported by patients who used erectile aids, who appeared similar in sexuality to patients awaiting surgery. When differences were detected, standard prostatectomy patients who did not use erectile aids scored worse in most areas of sexuality than nerve-sparing patients who did not use erectile aids. There were no differences in frequency of urinary leakage among the three surgery subgroups.


Although most patients reported problems in sexual and urinary function, global quality of life does not appear to be compromised following radical prostatectomy. Findings suggest that postsurgical sexuality differs depending on type of prostatectomy and use of erectile aids, while urinary function is similar across surgery groups. We conclude that erectile aids should be offered routinely to patients who are ineligible for nerve-sparing surgery or experience erectile difficulties following the nerve-sparing procedure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center