prostate cancer discovery


Penile Prosthesis Implantation for Erectile Dysfunction


For men who have erectile dysfunction after prostate cancer treatment, there are many good ways to treat it, including oral medications, vacuum pumps, intraurethral suppositories, and penile injections.  There’s also penile prosthesis implantation, the surgical placement of a prosthetic device within the penis.  “This has proven to be very successful and to afford high satisfaction in restoring  sexual activity,” says Arthur L. Burnett, M.D., M.B.A., the Patrick C. Walsh Distinguished Professor of Urology and Director of the Sexual Medicine Fellowship Program.  “However, this option is not always sought, and there are many possible factors why, including misunderstanding by clinicians and the lay public alike about which patients it may best serve.”

The more common, less-invasive options don’t work for everybody.  Recently, Burnett directed a research project to identify and quantify risk factors associated with future penile prosthesis implantation.  This project was a retrospective analysis using claims data from commercial and Medicare supplemental databases; results were published in the journal, Current Medical Research & Opinion.  The study showed that the likelihood of penile prosthesis implantation is greatest (nearly a four-fold higher risk) for men who have had prostate cancer, men with a history of diabetes (more than a twofold higher risk), and men who have tried other therapies for erectile dysfunction (a 1.4-fold higher risk). 

“These data may be used  by physicians and patients to help guide clinical management for effective restoration of erectile function,” says Burnett.  “Thus, for a man who has not recovered his erectile function sufficiently after prostate cancer treatment, despite alternative therapies for erectile dysfunction, penile prosthesis surgery is a well-accepted option to address this problem.”


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