Erectile Dysfunction from Surgery
There are several critical surgery procedures that can result in erectile dysfunction as well however.
The most common is prostate removal surgery or prostatectomy, where vital nerves controlling penile bloodflow may be damaged or even destroyed. As a result up to 80% of men will lose erectile function after prostate removal surgery.
How Surgery Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction
Basically, any surgery involving removal of tissue in or near the genital region can
potentially damage or destroy nerves critical to good erectile function. Other forms of common treatments that can have similar effects too include:
- Radiation therapy from external beam.
- Bracytherapy (radiation therapy using a ‘seed implant’
- Hormone therapy.
It’s not just the direct function of the nerves, carrying signals from brain to genitals, that’s at stake though. The penile cavernosal nerve is a key source of synthesis for nitric oxide, a vital molecule critical to erectile function specifically and also good sexual function in general.
Protein Offers New Treatment Hope
The oddly named ‘Sonic Hedgehog’ protein may bring a new option for men affected by erectile dysfunction after surgery.
Recent research from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine indicates damaged nerves may regenerate much faster with the use of the so-called Sonic Hedgehog protein, delivered to the affected site via a nanofibre gel.
So effective is the new treatment, it appears to actually reduce post-surgery penile muscle damage by 63%. The researchers believe the treatment may soon prove applicable to nerve damage from non-surgical causes too, such as diabetes.
Robotic Surgery Techniques
Sex after Surgery
While in the past men were advised ‘to wait and see’ for recovery of erectile function after surgery, new research suggests a better philosophy is ‘use it or lose it’!
The most common forms of erectile dysfunction treatment post surgery are:
- Erectile dysfunction drugs, such as common PDE-5 inhibitors Levitra, Cialis, Viagra,Stendra and Staxyn ( a new form of Levitra’s active ingredient, Vardenafil).
- Intracavernous injection therapy (penile injections)
- Vacuum constriction devices
- Herbal remedies
- Penile prosthetics
- Intraurethral treatment
Some other good general recovery tips are:
1. Don’t leave things to chance. Sexual function is an important part of your life, so take action, plan ahead! If you’re about to undergo prostate surgery, talk frankly with your doctor about all your concerns and options. Get help finding an experienced surgeon, preferably familiar with robotic surgery techniques. Talk through your options for recovery post-surgery too, and make sure you follow through with them diligently!