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Keywords:

  • benign prostatic hyperplasia;
  • electrosurgery;
  • erectile dysfunction;
  • randomized controlled trial;
  • TURP;
  • sexual dysfunction

What's known on the subject? and What does the study add?

  • The effect of TURP on overall sexual function and particularly erectile function (EF) is controversial with conflicting results based on a low level of evidence. The effects of monopolar and bipolar TURP (M-TURP and B-TURP, respectively) on EF are similar, as has been shown in a few non-focused randomized control trials (RCTs).
  • For the first time, the present study offers focused results of a comparative evaluation of the effects of B-TURP and M-TURP on overall sexual function, as quantified with the International Index of Erectile Function Questionnaire (IIEF-15) in an international, multicentre, double-blind RCT setting.

Objective

  • To compare monopolar and bipolar transurethral resection of the prostate (M-TURP and B-TURP, respectively) using a true bipolar system, for the first time in an international multicentre double-blind randomized controlled trial focusing on the overall sexual function quantified with the International Index of Erectile Function Questionnaire (IIEF-15). Other baseline/perioperative parameters potentially influencing erectile function (EF) after TURP were secondarily investigated.

Materials and Methods

  • From July 2006 to June 2009, consecutive TURP candidates with benign prostatic obstruction were prospectively recruited in four academic urological centres, randomized 1:1 into M-TURP/B-TURP arms and followed up at 6 weeks, 6 and 12 months after surgery. In all, 295 eligible patients were enrolled.
  • Overall sexual function was quantified using self-administered IIEF-15 at baseline and at each subsequent visit.
  • Total IIEF/domain scores were calculated and EF score classified erectile dysfunction severity. Differences in erectile dysfunction severity at each visit compared with baseline (EF evolution), classified patients into ‘improved’, ‘stable’ or ‘deteriorated’.
  • Pre-postoperative IIEF/domain scores and differences in the distribution of EF evolution were compared between arms throughout follow-up.

Results

  • In all, 279 patients received the allocated intervention; 218/279 patients (78.1%) provided complete IIEF-15 data at baseline and were considered in sexual function analysis. Complete IIEF-15 data were available from 193/218 (88.5%), 186/218 (85.3%) and 179/218 (82.1%) patients at 6 weeks, 6 months and 12 months, respectively.
  • Sexual function did not differ significantly between arms during follow-up (scores: IIEF, P = 0.750; EF, P = 0.636; orgasmic function, P = 0.868; sexual desire, P = 0.735; intercourse satisfaction, P = 0.917; overall satisfaction, P = 0.927).
  • Resection type was not a predictor of any sexual function changes observed.
  • Distribution of EF evolution did not differ between arms at any time (M-TURP vs B-TURP at 12 months: improved, 23/87 [26.4%] vs 18/92 [19.6%]; stable, 53/87 [60.9%] vs 56/92 [60.8%]; deteriorated, 11/87 [12.7%] vs 18/92 [19.6%]; P = 0.323).

Conclusion

  • There were no differences between M-TURP/B-TURP in any aspect of sexual function.