By MaleProstateHealth • March 6, 2016 • Comments Off on Prostate treatment erectile dysfunction
Regardless of whether the nerves were spared during surgery or whether the most precise dose planning was used during radiation therapy, nearly all men will experience some prostate treatment erectile dysfunction for the first few months after treatment.
The reason for prostate treatment erectile dysfunction is simple: the nerves and blood vessels that control the physical aspect of an erection are incredibly delicate, and any trauma to the area will result in changes to the natural order.
However, within one year after treatment, nearly all men with prostate treatment erectile dysfunction will see a substantial improvement. By this point, about 40-50% of men who undergo nerve-sparing prostatectomy will have returned to their pre-treatment function; after two years, about 30-60% will have returned to pre-treatment function.
These rates vary widely depending on the surgeon and level of experience, and how outcomes are reported (ie whether a study measures a doctor’s opinion of a patient’s sexual function or whether the survey actually asks the patient about this side effect).
For those who underwent radiation therapy, the numbers are better, but tend not to improve too much over time. About 25-50% of men who undergo brachytherapy will experience erectile dysfunction vs nearly 50% men who have standard external beam radiation; after two to three years, few men will see much of an improvement and occasionally these numbers worsen over time given that radiation takes longer to have effects.
Men who undergo procedures that are not designed to minimize side effects and those whose treatments are administered by physicians who are not proficient in the procedures will fare worse. In addition, men with other diseases or disorders that impair their ability to maintain an erection, such as diabetes or vascular problems, will have a more difficult time returning to pre-treatment function.
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