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.
• Transurethral resection of prostate (TURP)-about three weeks
• Robotic –Assisted Radical Prostatectomy- about six weeks
• Open Prostatectomy- about six weeks
Common side effects of prostate surgery that may explain ED are listed below.
• The nerves that go to your penis and create erections are very close to the
prostate and can be affected by surgery. If you have cancer of the prostate
your surgeon may need to remove some of these nerves.
• The prostate wraps around your urethra which 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
• 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.
• Oral medicines that relax muscles and increase blood flow to certain parts of
o Viagra® Sildenafil
o Levitra® Vardenafil
o Cialis® Tadalafil
• Medical treatments that replace the hormone testosterone.
o These can be given by patch, injection, orally, or on the skin.
• Penile injections- Medicine injected into the penis.
o Caverject ®, Edex ®, Trimix ®, Super-Trimix®, and Quadmix®.
• Penile Pellet. A medicine inserted into the tip of the penis. (MUSE)
• Vacuum erection device. It draws blood into the penis and creates an
• Venoconstrictive bands. They help hold blood in the penis to maintain
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 suggest:
• If you smoke, quit. Smoking may decrease the blood flow through the blood
vessels in your penis.
• Decrease or avoid alcohol. Alcohol depresses your nervous system and may
affect blood flow to your penis.
• Exercise on a regular basis. This increases blood flow to all parts of your
body. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
• Maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
• If you experience anxiety or depression get help to treat it.
• Decrease stress. HFFY 6585 “What is stress and how do I relieve it?” may be
• Check with your doctor about the medicines you take that have side effects
that may contribute to ED.
Urology Clinic: (608) 263-4757
After hours, weekends, and holidays, this connects you to the message center. Ask for the urology doctor on call or the doctor on call for Dr.____________________. Give your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
Toll Free: 1-800-323-8942
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 10/24/2012
Copyright © 10/24/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7425
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