The Relationship Between Incontinence and Erectile Dysfunction After Robotic Prostatectomy: Are They Mutually Exclusive?

Savas T. Tsikis, Charles U. Nottingham, Sarah F. Faris

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4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Urinary incontinence (UI) and erectile dysfunction (ED) remain the most common long-term complications of prostatectomy, with a significant impact on sexual health and quality of life. Aims To determine the relation between UI and moderate to severe ED and the risk factors for UI in patients undergoing robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy. Methods Patients in our institutional database who underwent robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy for prostate cancer (2006–2013) and who completed the University of California–Los Angeles Prostate Cancer Index and the Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM) surveys at 12 months after prostatectomy were eligible for inclusion. Men who reported use of no urinary pads per day were considered continent, whereas men who used at least one pad per day were considered incontinent. Men with moderate to severe ED based on a SHIM score no higher than 11 were considered to have ED. Patients who had preoperative moderate to severe ED and/or UI based on these definitions were excluded from further analysis. Outcomes A better understanding of what increases the risk for UI after a prostatectomy and how it can co-occur with ED. Results We analyzed 464 patients who met the inclusion criteria. After prostatectomy, 36% of patients had UI and 47% of patients had moderate to severe ED. Of all patients with ED, 45% (98 of 216) were incontinent compared with 27% (67 of 248) of patients without ED (P <.001). On multivariable analysis, older age at diagnosis (odds ratio [OR] = 1.05, P =.002) and ED (OR = 1.88, P =.005) were independent predictors for incontinence. The use of unilateral nerve sparing (OR = 1.03, P =.94) or no nerve sparing (OR = 0.53, P =.50) during surgery did not have an impact on postoperative incontinence. Clinical Implications Understanding that ED is an independent predictor of UI after robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy has important clinical implications and suggests a common anatomic pathway. Strengths and Limitations Our focus on different measurements of incontinence and their relation to ED and our use of validated questionnaires to define incontinence and ED were important strengths of this study. Limitations of our study include its retrospective nature and the fact that our results were drawn from a single-center database of a tertiary referral hospital. Conclusion Our results show that the presence of moderate to severe ED after prostatectomy is an independent risk factor for incontinence, suggesting a possible common pathway for these two complications. Further studies to investigate the anatomic and clinical bases of this relation are warranted. Tsikis ST, Nottingham CU, Faris SF. The Relationship Between Incontinence and Erectile Dysfunction After Robotic Prostatectomy: Are They Mutually Exclusive? J Sex Med 2017;14:1241–1247.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1241-1247
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Volume14
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Impotence
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Prostatectomy
  • Risk Factors
  • Urinary Incontinence

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