Standard Operating Procedures for Vascular Surgery in Erectile Dysfunction: Revascularization and Venous Procedures



Introduction.  The impact of penile blood supply on erectile function was recognized some 500 years ago. At the turn of the 20th century first results of penile venous ligation were published and in 1973 the first surgical attempts to restore penile arterial inflow were undertaken. Numerous techniques were published in the meantime, but inclusion criteria, patient selection, and success evaluation differed extremely between study groups.

Aim.  To develop evidence-based standard operating procedures (SOPs) for vascular surgery in erectile dysfunction, based on recent state of the art consensus reports and recently published articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Methods.  Based on the recent publication of the consensus process during the 2009 International Consultation on Sexual Medicine in Paris, recommendations are derived for diagnosis and surgical treatment of vascular erectile dysfunction. In addition several recent publications in this field not mentioned in the consensus statements are included in the discussion.

Main Outcome Measure.  The Oxford system of evidence-based review was systematically applied. Due to the generally low level of evidence in this field expert opinions were accepted, if published after a well-defined consensus process in peer-reviewed journals.

Results.  Referring to penile revascularization it may be concluded, that in the face of missing randomized trials, only recommendations grade D may be given: this kind of surgery may be offered to men less than 55 years, who are nonsmokers, nondiabetic, and demonstrate isolated arterial stenoses in the absence of generalized vascular disease.

The evidence level for recommendations concerning penile venous ligations may be even lower. Too many unsolved controversies exist and universal diagnostic criteria for patient selection as well as operative technique selection have not been unequivocally established. This kind of surgery is still considered investigational but may be offered in special situations on an individualized basis in an investigational or research setting after obtaining written consent, using both pre- and postoperatively validated measuring instruments of success evaluation.

Conclusions.  SOPs for penile revascularization procedures can be developed, concerning a highly selected patient group with isolated arterial stenoses. Based on the available data it is not yet possible to define SOPs for surgical treatment of corporal veno-occlusive dysfunction. Sohn M, Hatzinger M, Goldstein I, and Krishnamurti S. Standard operating procedures for vascular surgery in erectile dysfunction: Revascularization and venous procedures. J Sex Med **;**:**–**.