Age, Nerve Sparing Tied to Post-Prostatectomy Sexual Function

Younger age and bilateral nerve sparing surgery improve orgasmic outcomes after RALP

THURSDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Younger men and those who undergo bilateral nerve sparing (BNS) approaches during a robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RALP) have better recovery of their premorbid orgasmic function compared to older men or men with unilateral or non-nerve sparing surgery, according to a study published in the February issue of the BJU International.

Ashutosh Tewari, M.B.B.S., from Cornell University in New York City, and colleagues investigated orgasmic outcomes for 408 patients who underwent RALP and who were potent, able to achieve orgasm preoperatively, and available for follow-up. The effects of age and nerve sparing on outcomes were assessed.

The researchers found that younger men (aged ≤60 years) were significantly more able to achieve orgasm postoperatively compared with older men (88.4 and 82.6 percent, respectively; P < 0.001). Significantly more men who received BNS during surgery were able to achieve orgasm postoperatively (90.7 percent), compared with those who received unilateral nerve sparing (82.1 percent) or non-nerve-sparing surgery (60.8 percent). For 3.2 percent of men ≤60 years of age who underwent BNS, there was a decreased sensation of orgasm. Postoperative orgasmic rates were significantly better for younger men who underwent BNS compared to unilateral or non-nerve sparing surgery (92.9, 83.3, and 65.4 percent, respectively). Significantly improved potency rates were seen for men aged 60 or younger and for those who underwent BNS.

"Age and nerve sparing influence recovery of orgasm and erectile function after RALP," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Intuitive Surgical, which manufactures robotic surgical systems.

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