Sildenafil citrate after radical retropubic prostatectomy

Benjamin H. Lowentritt, Peter T. Scardino, Brian J. Miles, Francisco J. Orejuela, Edward C. Schatte, Kevin M. Slawin, Sean P. Elliott, Edward D. Kim

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121 Scopus citations


Purpose: Erectile dysfunction continues to be a significant problem for men after radical retropubic prostatectomy despite nerve sparing techniques. Sildenafil citrate (Viagra(+)) has proved effective for erectile dysfunction in many men. We determine the efficacy of sildenafil in men with erectile dysfunction after radical retropubic prostatectomy and examine variables that may impact the response to treatment. Materials and Methods: A total of 84 men were prescribed sildenafil after radical retropubic prostatectomy and asked to complete a series of questionnaires, including the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF), on erectile function before and after sildenafil administration. The importance of factors, such as patient age, time since surgery, degree of cavernous nerve sparing, preoperative prostate specific antigen, Gleason score, clinical and pathological stage, and baseline postoperative erectile function, was examined. Results: Of the 84 patients 45 (53%) had improved erections and 34 (40%) had improved ability for intercourse while taking sildenafil. Mean IIEF score for the erectile function domain increased from 9 to 14 (p <0.001). Orgasmic function (p = 0.004) and intercourse satisfaction (p = 0.009) also significantly improved. The degree of nerve sparing and baseline postoperative erectile dysfunction had a significant impact on the ability of sildenafil to improve erectile function (p = 0.010 and p <0.001, respectively) and total IIEF questionnaire responses (p = 0.031 and p <0.001, respectively). Age and pathological stage also appeared to have a significant effect. Conclusions: Sildenafil improved erectile function and the ability to have intercourse in more than half of men after radical retropubic prostatectomy. Baseline postoperative erectile function, which is dependent on the degree of nerve sparing technique, significantly impacts the likelihood that patients will respond to sildenafil.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1614-1617
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1999
Externally publishedYes

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  • Impotence
  • Prostatectomy


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