The aim of this study is to document the incidence of erectile dysfunction (ED) following open abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair using a modified International Index of Erectlie Function questionnaire (IIEF). An IIEF was mailed to 175 married male patients (mean age ± SD: 71 ± 8 years) who had an open AAA repair by one of four board-certified vascular surgeons between 1994 and 1998. The IIEFs were anonymous and asked patients to recall their sexual function before and 3 months after repair. ED was defined in patients with IIEF scores <11 (range 1-30). The overall response rate was 39% (68/175). A comparison of the IIEF results showed that 67/68 patients reported worsening erectile function (p < 0.00001); one respondent reported improved erectile function. On the basis of the IIEF scores, 20/68 patients (29%) were found to have ED and 48/68 patients (71%) had normal function prior to repair. Of the 48 patients with normal function prior to surgery, 83% (40/48) had ED after surgery. ED rates were similar between tube grafts 82% (23/28) and bifurcated grafts 85% (17/20) p = ns. The ED rate after open AAA repair is alarmingly high and prospective follow-up with IIEF will be necessary to better assess true ED rates after conventional open AAA repair.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs volunteer services and Lois I<. Molitor for assistance in mailings and data entry. We would also like to thank Connie M. Lindberg for her editorial assistance. The research for this study was carried out at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA. This work was supported in part by a Public Health Service, National Research Service Award, 1 F32HL10076-01.