Men who regularly take a phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor (PDE5i) might experience less penile length loss after radical prostatectomy when compared to those who do not, according to a study published in December in BJU International.
Penile length loss is common after prostatectomy. Some experts believe it occurs because part of the urethra is removed with the prostate, thus shortening the urethra that remains.
Researchers from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City conducted the study. They wanted to know how radical prostatectomy affected penile dimensions and what kind of impact PDE5is would have on penile length.
They worked with 118 men who were planning to have a radical prostatectomy. Each man’s erectile function was assessed using the erectile function domain of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF). In addition, one researcher measured each man’s penis in a stretched flaccid penile length (SFPL) state. Data was collected before surgery and at 2- and 6-month points following surgery.
Many men were lost to follow-up. Seventy-six men participated in the 2-month post-surgery evaluation. Sixty-three men were assessed at the 6-month point.
Two months after surgery, the men had a mean decrease of 2.4 mm in SFPL. At six months, there was no significant difference.
At six months, men who took a PDE5i every day had no loss of SFPL. Those who did not take a PDE5i had a mean loss of 4.4 ± 6.6 mm.
Overall, the researchers concluded that two months after radical prostatectomy, men might experience SFPL loss. However, loss does not seem apparent six months after surgery.
Also, consistent PDE5i use appeared to help moderate loss in penile length after prostatectomy.
American Cancer Society
“Surgery for Prostate Cancer”
(Last revised: August 26, 2013)
Berookhim, Boback M., et al.
“Prospective analysis of penile length changes after radical prostatectomy”
(Abstract. First published online: December 2, 2013)
Chodak, Gerald, MD
“Penile Length After Prostatectomy”
(December 17, 2013)