Erectile Dysfunction (ED) after Prostate Surgery
What is ED?
It is when you are not able to have and maintain an erection for sexual intercourse.
What does ED have to do with the Prostate Surgery?
The prostate is a walnut sized gland which is part of your reproductive system. It sits
below your bladder and makes semen. Semen is the fluid that carries sperm.
After you have prostate surgery it takes time to return to sexual activity. Here are some
kinds of prostate surgery and the time each can take. If you would like read more, we
have handouts called Health Facts for You.
ξ Transurethral resection of prostate (TURP)-about three weeks
ξ Robotic –Assisted Radical Prostatectomy- about six weeks
ξ Open Prostatectomy- about six weeks
Common side effects of prostate surgery that may explain ED are listed below.
ξ The nerves that go to your penis and create erections are very close to the
prostate. These can be affected by surgery. If you have cancer of the prostate
your surgeon may need to remove some of these nerves.
ξ The prostate wraps around your urethra. This is the tube that urine flows into
from your bladder. The nerves that help your bladder work can be affected by
surgery. If you are not able to control urination this may affect sexual activity.
ξ Incisions or scars from surgery can affect how you feel about your body and may
affect sexual activity.
How is ED treated?
This is a list of treatments for ED in the normal order offered by your doctor.
ξ Oral medicines that relax muscles and increase blood flow to certain parts of the
o Viagra® Sildenafil
o Levitra® Vardenafil
o Cialis® Tadalafil
ξ Medical treatments that replace the hormone testosterone.
o These can be given by patch, injection, orally, or on the skin.
ξ Penile injections- Medicine injected into the penis.
o Caverject ®, Edex ®, Trimix ®, Super-Trimix®, and Quadmix®.
ξ Penile Pellet. A medicine inserted into the tip of the penis. (MUSE)
ξ Vacuum erection device. It draws blood into the penis and creates an erection.
ξ Venoconstrictive bands. They help hold blood in the penis to maintain erection.
What can I tell my Sexual Partner?
Talk to us about partner support and education. ED affects your partner too.
What can I do to Prevent ED?
Living a healthy lifestyle is the best thing you can do to prevent ED. This is what we
ξ If you smoke, quit. Smoking may decrease the blood flow through the blood
vessels in your penis.
ξ Decrease or avoid alcohol. Alcohol depresses your nervous system and may
affect blood flow to your penis.
ξ Exercise on a regular basis. This increases blood flow to all parts of your body.
Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
ξ Maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
ξ If you experience anxiety or depression get help to treat it.
ξ Decrease stress. HFFY 6585 “What is stress and how do I relieve it?” may be
ξ Check with your doctor about the medicines you take that have side effects that
may contribute to ED
UW Health Urology 608-263-4757
UW Health at The American Center Urology 608-440-6464
UW Health One South Park Urology 608-287-2900
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Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call
if you have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with
your doctor. This is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical
condition. Because each person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on
your health care team when using this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911.
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