Overcoming Prostate Surgery Impotence
Author: Brian Hildebrandt, Last Updated: Aug. 16, 2017
Prostate surgery impotence can be a rough experience and often happens when the best treatments for prostate cancer aren’t fully utilized.
If you’re learning about prostate cancer treatment options or are about to engage in surgery there are a number of things you should know regarding impotence and prostate surgery.
Prostate Cancer Surgery and Radical Prostatectomy
The main reason for impotence after prostate surgery aka radical prostatectomy is due to the severing of the cavernous nerve surrounding the prostate.
It’s what controls the ability to have an erection when sexually aroused. Without a functional cavernous nerve it makes natural sex next to impossible.
Cavernous Nerve Sparing Surgery
Thankfully there is a prostate surgery procedure that involves sparing the cavernous nerve. Cavernous nerve sparing surgery involves a medical tool called the CaverMap Surgical Aid.
It allows for a more precise extraction of the prostate while keeping the cavernous nerve intact, thus maintaining the ability to sustain a normal erection.
The statistics surrounding prostate surgery impotence and nerve sparing surgery are positive up to this point.
Cavermap Surgical Aid
A preliminary Canadian study on the use of the Cavermap Surgical Aid, showed 90% of men were able to sustain normal erections one year after surgery, compared to only 30% of men that underwent traditional non-sparing prostate surgery.
These results are only preliminary. Regardless, the importance of preventing the spread of prostate cancer while taking advantage of the nerve sparing procedure’s effect of preserving sexual function, is a positive direction forward.
Prostate Surgery Impotence Treatments
To regain sexual function after prostate surgery 5 different treatment options are available;
- Penile Injections
- Vacuum Constriction Device
- Penile Suppositories
- Penile Implants
Prostate Surgery Side Effects and Medications
These drugs work by increasing blood flow to the vessels of the penis. As of late, these drugs have started a sexual revolution for men in they’re later years, proving quite reliable with a low rate of side effects.
Although they won’t increase sex drive or libido, they do help increase the firmness of your erection. Success rates for prostate surgery impotence lie in the range of 60% to 70%.
Penile Injections for Sex After Prostate Surgery
Although more of a hassle than the oral medications, penile injections have a success rate around 60% to 80%. Treatment involves an injection into the penis, prior to sex, to inhance blood flow.
Vacuum Constriction Device
This device involves using a pump to encourage blood into the penis, with a band surrounding the base to prevent back flow. The band can be kept on 30 minutes at a time, to engage in sexual activity.
Any longer than 30 minutes is not advisable due to the penis’ need for fresh oxygen and other nutrients. Death of penile tissue may occur if used for a prolonged periods of time. However, there is no need to worry if used for short periods.
Just as the name implies… a suppository containing the drug Alprostadil is placed into the tip of the penis, through the urethra, via a plastic applicator. Alprostadil relaxes the vessels in the penis to allow for more blood flow.
For many men this is a highly undesirable treatment. The thought of using penile suppositories alone is enough to turn many men away. Fortunately for them, the success rate of penile suppositories is only 30%.
However, for men who’ve had failures with other impotence treatments, it is another option that may increase their quality of life.
Penile implants are generally used when less invasive treatments have not been successful, such as drugs or the treatments shown above. An implant or prosthesis is surgically inserted in to the penis to increase it’s firmness, displaying a high success rate of 95%.
Understandably so, satisfaction with this method is higher due to it’s ease of use and reliability. If all other treatments have failed a penile implant may be a worthwhile treatment to pursue.