Penile Rehabilitation is a term that is used to describe the process of returning your penile function back to a ‘normal’ state. This is the ability to achieve a full erection to the level it was pre surgery. Many factors are involved in this at a cellular level and are not simply whether or not you have had nerve sparing surgery.
The main chambers in the penis that ‘inflate’ to create an erection are very susceptible to low oxygenation. The surviving nerves need stimulation, just as a damaged arm will need physiotherapy to return to normal function.
In the old days, this was left to chance, but now after much research and the availability of specific drugs, we can be more scientific and help men who have erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery.
Drugs called PDE5 inhibitors are a first line of treatment. They may help achieve an erection by themselves but they may not in many cases. They do, however, help the internal tissue remain healthy, even in the absence of a full erection.
The second line of treatment is to stimulate a full erection with medication or vacuum devices. This is the best way to achieve recovery and also allow penetrative sex while the recovery takes place. Recovery can take between a few weeks and 2 years.
Venous leakage can occur after surgery. This is a bit like having a puncture in a tyre. Even if you inflate it, the tyre will slowly or quickly go flat, depending on how great the leak is.
This may need to be checked by a Doppler scan. An assessment and history will discover this.
At MES we can normally help with all these issues and have had a consistently high success rate treating post prostatectomy patients.