Nerve-Sparing Prostatectomy and Potency?

Dr. Scardino answers the question: 'Nerve-Sparing Prostatectomy and Potency?'

Jan. 01, 2009 -- Question: What is the success rate for maintaining potency after a nerve-sparing prostatectomy?

Answer: A nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy is designed, of course, to preserve a man's sexual function -- his erections. The success rate depends upon a man's age, the quality of his erection to the time of the operation, and the skill and experience of the surgeon in protecting and preserving the nerves during the operation.

In general, the success rate is about 70 percent. About seven out of 10 men will recover sexual function after the operation -- more if a man is very young and has excellent erections beforehand; not quite as good if a man's older, if he has poor erections already before the operation.