Patients will often ask me if there is anything they can do to improve erectile function after radical prostatectomy.
In general, I tell them that pre-operative function is one of the most important predictors of post-operative function. The old saying, "use it or lose it" actually does apply.
More recently, there is mounting evidence that prophylactic PDE5 inhibitors (Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, etc.) even in small doses every other day may help increase blood flow to the penile region and hasten recovery of erectile function.
I would encourage you to ask your surgeon if they or their colleagues have a program of "rehabiliation" for erectile function following surgery.View Thread
Here are a few tips to get the most out of your prostate cancer surgical or radiation oncology consultation:
1. Have extra copies of all your records (biopsy reports, office notes, etdc.)
2. Have copies of any films (bone scans, MRI, CT) -- note -- you should have not only a copy of the report but also the images on either a CD or hard copy. Many times a surgeon or rad onc may want to review the films w/ a radiologist, so its wise to burn a few extra copy of the CD.
3. Bring a family member. Its always helpful to have an extra set of ears to listen and also help ask questions.
4. Don't be afraid to ask a surgeon or rad onc about his/her experience and comfort with a certain type of treatment. Are they more comfortable doing open or robotic surgery, etc?
5. Write down pertinent questions so you won't forget to ask.
6. Don't be scared to tell your doctor that you are getting second opinions. We often expect this and are not offended. I actually find it helpful for patients to get a different perspective since every doctor approaches things slightly differently.
For those men preparing for radical prostatectomy (either robotic or open) I would highly encourage you to talk to your surgeon about steps you can take to make your sugical outcomes better.
A new diagnosis of cancer often leaves patients feeling helpless. Once you have done the appropriate research and discussed treatment options I have a few tips for those men who choose radical prostatectomy.
1. Attempt to "get in shape" and if you are overweight, consider losing some weight prior to surgery. I find that men who are in excellent cardiovascular health, often bounce back quicker after surgery.
2. Learn about and practice Kegel exercises. These (often simple) exercises will help the return to continence after surgery.
3. For those men who are sexually active, ask your urologist if it is appropriate to begin prophylactic treatment with ED medications just prior to and during the immediate post-operative period.
Best of luck to those preparing for and undergoing surgery.View Thread