• erectile dysfunction;
  • radical prostatectomy;
  • treatment;
  • predictive factors


Radical prostatectomy (RP) is a commonly used procedure in the treatment of clinically localized prostate cancer. For this report, the authors critically analyzed the factors associated with recovery of erectile function after surgery. A systematic review of the literature using the Medline and CancerLit databases was conducted. Keywords for the literature search included prostate cancer, radical prostatectomy, erectile dysfunction, impotence, treatment, and prophylaxis. Accurate patient selection (based on patient age, preoperative erectile function, and comorbidity profile) and adequate surgical technique (ie, the preservation of neurovascular bundles) were the major determinants of postoperative erectile function. Moreover, better results were achieved when an appropriate pharmacologic treatment using either oral or local approaches was given. Therefore, the authors concluded that, if patients are stratified correctly according to preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative factors, then a satisfactory functional recovery may be expected after surgery. For these reasons, an ideal multivariate model predicting the restoration of erectile function after surgery should include patient, surgeon, and postsurgical treatment variables. The authors also concluded that the stratification of patients with regard to their risk of developing erectile dysfunction after surgery was feasible based on several parameters, which should be taken into account for correct patient treatment and counseling. To address this objective, accurate tools for predicting the likelihood of complete functional recovery after surgery are needed. Cancer 2009;115(13 suppl):3150–9. © 2009 American Cancer Society.