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Penile rehabilitation following radical prostatectomy

Mulhall, John P

Current Opinion in Urology:
doi: 10.1097/MOU.0b013e3283136462
Andrology, sexual dysfunction and infertility: Edited by Peter N Schlegel

Purpose of review: Erectile dysfunction is common after radical prostatectomy. Erectile dysfunction has a negative impact on health-related quality of life. Penile rehabilitation is defined as the use of any drug or device at or after radical prostatectomy to maximize erectile function recovery. This is an up-to-date review of the current state of science supporting penile rehabilitation after radical prostatectomy.

Recent findings: The purpose of penile rehabilitation is to prevent corpus cavernosal smooth muscle structural alterations to not only maximize the chances of a man to recover functional erections but also return him to his preoperative erectile function level. Current animal and human data support the use of PDE5 inhibitor and the generation of early erections after radical prostatectomy as a strategy to improve erectile function recovery. The magnitude of this improvement is currently unclear.

Summary: The results from animal and human studies imply that the use of PDE5 inhibitor and the generation of erections early after radical prostatectomy are of some benefit to erectile function recovery. Although the definitive protocol for rehabilitation is not defined, future work is aimed at determining this.

Author Information

Urology Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA

Correspondence to John P. Mulhall, Director, Male Sexual and Reproductive Medicine, Urology Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, USA E-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.