Get access

Pilot Study of Sexual Dysfunction Following Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Surgery


Vincent Koo, MBBCh, MRCSI, Royal Victoria Hospital—Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Grosvenor Road, Belfast BT12 6BL, UK. Tel: +44-2890-635936; Fax: +44-2890-314169; E-mail:


Introduction.  The complication of sexual dysfunction as a quality of life (QoL) component after abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) surgery in men is poorly studied.

Aims.  To investigate the prevalence of sexual dysfunction and to highlight the importance of discussing this issue with patients undergoing AAA repair.

Main Outcome Measures.  The self-reported sexual dysfunction prevalence pre- and postoperatively, the effects on sexual QoL, and the postoperative Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM) scores.

Methods.  Between April 1999 and July 2002, a questionnaire-based study, including the SHIM, was conducted on male patients 1–2 years after their elective open (EO) and rupture open (RO) or endovascular repair (EVAR) AAA repair. Demographics, risk factors for sexual dysfunction, sexual history, and postoperative sexual QoL data were obtained.

Results.  Out of 142 alive male patients surveyed, 56 (40%) patients responded (26 EO, 21 EVAR, and 9 RO repair). The mean age was 69, 73, and 70 years, respectively, and 65%, 66%, and 66%, respectively, admitted to be sexually active postoperatively. The self-reported sexual dysfunction prevalence preoperatively was 27% (EO), 63% (EVAR), and 45% (RO); and postoperatively was 58%, 76%, and 67%, respectively. Detection using SHIM was higher at 70%, 95%, and 78%, respectively. There was a significantly greater increase in the postoperative prevalence of sexual dysfunction in the EO group than in the EVAR group (P < 0.05, χ2). The sexual QoL was worsened postoperatively in all groups: 53% (EO), 75% (EVAR), and 50% (RO); but only one-third of EO and EVAR patients, and none in RO patients, would seek treatment for their sexual dysfunction.

Conclusion.  There was a negative impact on the sexual QoL in all groups after surgery, and a significantly higher proportion of patients experienced deterioration in sexual QoL following EO surgical repair. Our results demonstrate the need for a prospective study. Koo V, Lau L, McKinley A, Blair P, and Hood J. Pilot study of sexual dysfunction following abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery. J Sex Med 2007;4:1147–1152.