What Is The Likelihood Of A Healthy Sex Life After A Radical Prostatectomy?

Dr. Walsh answers the question: 'Sex Life After A Radical Prostatectomy?'

ByPatrick Walsh, M.D., Urologist, Johns Hopkins
November 19, 2008, 12:19 PM

March 16, 2009 -- Question: What is the likelihood of a healthy sex life after a radical prostatectomy?

Answer: Many years ago, every man that had a radical prostatectomy was impotent. Once we discovered where the nerves were that were being damaged, it was possible to do nerve sparing radical prostatectomy and preserve potency.

The recovery of potency following radical prostatectomy is dependent upon a number of factors -- whether the patient was fully potent before the operation, whether the operation is performed by a skilled surgeon, and how old the patient is. In men in their 40s and 50s, if both nerves are spared and the operation is performed by a skilled surgeon, the chance of potency a year later should be 80 to 90 percent. In patients over the age of 70, the likelihood of that is less.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events