Introduction. There is little sound information on how urologists manage erectile dysfunction (ED) arising after radical prostatectomy (RP) in a real-world situation.
Aim. To perform a national survey of how French urologists manage ED after RP in routine practice.
Main Outcome Measures. Choice of first-line treatment, type of treatment (rehabilitation of erectile function vs. treatment on demand for intercourse), and timing and duration of treatment.
Methods. All French urologists were invited to take part in a survey; 59.7% accepted provisionally (760/1,272). They received the survey questionnaire and 10 patient data forms to be completed during the visits of the first 10 patients with fewer than 12 months follow-up post-RP. These were returned to an independent third party for analysis.
Results. The final response rate was 535/1,272 (42%). Before performing RP, 80% of the urologists assessed sexual activity and 76% erectile function; 9% did neither. Thirty-eight percent reported that they systematically proposed ED treatment to their patients post-RP (“routine prescribers”). The remainder was treated on occasion, either at the patients' request (49%) or at their own discretion (13%). Routine prescribers tended to be younger and had performed more RPs in the preceding year. Most urologists (88%) always used the same first-line treatment: regular intracavernosal injections (ICIs) for rehabilitation, 39%; ICI on demand for intercourse, 30%; phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors on demand, 16%, or regular PDE5 inhibitors for rehabilitation, 8%; alternating ICI and PDE5 inhibitors, 7%; vacuum device, <1%. ED treatment was initiated within 3 months of RP by 72% of the urologists (92% of routine prescribers). The percentage of urologists recommending ED treatment for 6 months was 20%, 38% for 1 year, and 33% for 2 years.
Conclusion. ED was commonplace after RP. French urologists reported a proactive attitude to ED treatment, many favoring pharmacologic rehabilitation therapy. ICI was their first-line treatment of choice. Giuliano F, Amar E, Chevallier D, Montaigne O, Joubert J-M, and Chartier-Kastler E. How urologists manage erectile dysfunction after radical prostatectomy: A national survey (REPAIR) by the French Urological Association. J Sex Med 2008;5:448–457.