Wide variations exist in the methods for evaluating potency following radical prostatectomy. We describe our technique of laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP), present our methods for assessing the return of potency following LRP, and discuss the relevant literature. Sexual function was assessed pre- and postoperatively using the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite questionnaire (EPIC). Sexual function subscale scores (SFSS) were reported as a percentage of preoperative baseline sexual function. The EPIC was also used for single-question assessment of successful intercourse. We also reviewed the literature on prospective health-related quality of life results following LRP and open radical retropubic prostatectomy. Only patients reporting preoperative intercourse were analyzed. Of these, 72 and 35% undergoing bilateral and unilateral nerve sparing (NS) reported postoperative intercourse at 12 months (P = 0.01). Mean SFSS at 12 months was 61 and 57% of baseline after bilateral and unilateral NS, respectively (P = 0.71). Following NS procedures, 74% of patients ≤58 years of age and 41% of patients >58 years of age reported successful intercourse at 12 months (P = 0.015). Mean SFSS was 64 and 52% of baseline function (P = 0.249) at 12 months for patients ≤58 and >58 years of age, respectively. In patients <58 years of age who underwent bilateral NS surgery, 82% reported intercourse at 12 months. In conclusion, return of sexual function following NS LRP in our experience is comparable to reports from centers of excellence in open prostatectomy. Standardizing data collection using validated quality of life instruments can provide both surgeon and patient with a realistic forecast of relative return to normal sexual function following prostatectomy.
- Quality of life
ASJC Scopus subject areas