Sacrifice of Accessory Pudendal Arteries in Normally Potent Men during Robot-Assisted Radical Prostatectomy Does Not Impact Potency


David S. Finley, MD, Institute of Urologic Oncology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 924 Westwood Blvd, Suite 1050, Box 957207, Los Angeles, CA 90095. E-mail:


Aim.  Whether or not sacrificing accessory pudendal arteries (APAs) during radical prostatectomy affects potency has been an ongoing source of concern. Herein, we present our potency results relative to sacrificing APAs in normally pre-potent men following robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP).

Methods.  The distribution of APAs and clinical characteristics were prospectively recorded in 200 consecutive patients undergoing RARP with a cautery-free technique. Sexual function was assessed using the International Index of Erectile Function 5-item questionnaire (IIEF-5). All APAs were sacrificed due to stapling the dorsal vein complex

Main Outcome Measures.  Postoperatively, potency was defined by an affirmative answer to the following two questions: “Were erections adequate for penetration?” and “were the erections satisfactory?” Postoperative IIEF-5 scores and quality of erections (% of preoperative firmness: 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%) were also obtained. Subgroup analysis of patients age ≤65 years with IIEF-5 score of 22–25 was performed.

Results.  Eighty patients (40%) had APAs. Preoperatively, there was no association with having an APA and normal/abnormal sexual function. Preoperatively, 58/200 were ≤65 years with self-administered IIEF-5 scores of 22–25. Postoperatively, 53/58 (91%) were potent at 24 months follow-up. Nineteen of 58 patients had a sacrificed APA; 39 patients had no APA. Eighteen of 19 (95%) patients with sacrificed APAs were potent vs. 35/39 (90%) with no APA present (P = 0.53). Multivariate analysis showed no significant correlation between sacrificing an APA and time of potency recovery, quality of postoperative erections (94% vs. 90% P = 0.80) or mean IIEF-5 score (22.4 vs. 20.8, P = 0.13).

Conclusion.  We found no correlation between the presence or absence of APAs and preoperative sexual function. Furthermore, after sacrificing all APAs, we found no correlation with potency return, time to return of potency, quality of erections, or mean IIEF-5 scores at 24 months. Box GN, Kaplan AG, Rodriguez Jr. E, Skareckey DW, Osann KE, Finley DS, and Ahlering TE. Sacrifice of accessory pudendal arteries in normally potent men during robot-assisted radical prostatectomy does not impact potency. J Sex Med 2010;7:298–303.