The Relationship Between Erectile Dysfunction and Open Urethroplasty: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


Corresponding Author: Yue-Min Xu, MD, PhD, Department of Urology, Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China. Tel: 86-21-64369181; Fax: 86-21-64083783; E-mail:



Various urethroplasty techniques have been used to treat urethral stricture. Whether the patient erectile function is affected by this open surgery is still controversial.


The aim of this study is to determine the relationship between erectile function and open urethroplasty.


A systematic review of the literature was performed using Medline, Embase, the Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library databases through October 2012 to identify articles published in any language that examined the effect of open urethroplasty on the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED). This meta-analysis was conducted according to the guidelines for the meta-analysis of observational studies in epidemiology.

Main Outcome Measures

The incidence of ED after urethroplasty.


This meta-analysis consisted of 23 cohort studies, which included 1,729 cases. No significant difference was noticed in patients with anterior urethral stricture before or after intervention (odds ratio [OR] = 0.86; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.52–1.40; P = 0.53). While statistical difference in the incidence of ED was revealed in patients before and after intervention for a posterior urethral (OR = 2.51; 95% CI: 1.82–3.45; P < 0.001), further comparisons demonstrated that most anterior urethroplasties did not have an obvious effect on patient erectile function. However, it seems that the incidence of ED was higher in the bulbar anastomosis group than in the oral graft urethroplasty group (OR = 0.32 95% CI: 0.11–0.93; P = 0.04). For the posterior urethroplasty, previous operative history did not show a strong relationship with ED. No statistically significant difference in the risk of ED was demonstrated comparing the posterior urethral reconstructive techniques included in this analysis.


The adverse effect of urethroplasty itself on erectile function is limited, as more patients recover erectile function after urethral reconstruction. For anterior urethroplasty, bulbar anastomosis might cause a slightly higher incidence of ED than other operations. For posterior urethroplasty, trauma might be the main cause of ED. Feng C, Xu Y-M, Barbagli G, Lazzeri M, Tang C-y, Fu Q, and Sa Y-L. The relationship between erectile dysfunction and open urethroplasty: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Sex Med 2013;10:2060-2068.