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Prostate surgery patients may have unrealistic expectations concerning their recovery

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Patients who have undergone radical prostatectomy often have largely unrealistic expectations with regard to their postoperative sexual function, new research shows.

Within 3 months of their surgery, 336 patients were questioned regarding the sexual function information that they had received pre-operatively as well as their erectile function and penile changes following the operation. Among the patients, 216 underwent open surgery and 120 underwent robotic surgery.

Robotic surgery patients expected shorter erectile function recovery time (6 vs. 12 months), a higher likelihood of recovery back to normal erectile function (75% vs. 50%), and lower potential need for therapy to achieve an erection (4% vs. 20%). Almost half of all patients were unaware that they were rendered unable to ejaculate by their surgery. None of the robotic surgery patients and only 10% of open surgery patients recalled being informed of the potential for penile length loss.

The findings are published in BJU International.

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