"In general, I think there's a tremendous amount of variability in terms of how sexual medicine specialists treat patients who have had intimacy issues relating to robotic prostatectomy," says Stanton Honig, MD.
In this video, experts from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut highlight the background and findings from the study, “How do Sexual Medicine Specialists Handle Patient Counseling and Penile Rehabilitation in Patients Undergoing Robotic Assisted Radical Prostatectomy (ralp): Trends in Pre Op and Post Operative Management,” which was presented at the 24th Annual Fall Scientific Meeting of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America in San Diego, California.
Dylan Heckscher, MD: Prostatectomy is one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States, and the vast majority of patients who undergo prostatectomy do not return to their baseline functioning in terms of erectile function. There were some guidelines published back in 2021, outlining the lack of high quality evidence for perioperative care for restoring erectile function post surgically. So, we polled a variety of different sexual medicine specialists here at SMSNA last year, and found that essentially, there's a large variability in preoperative counseling, post operative management, and not all of it is in accordance with the guidelines, and neither is our own practice. We think it highlights the need for future research specifically on this subject to get higher quality evidence.
Stanton Honig, MD: In general, I think there's a tremendous amount of variability in terms of how sexual medicine specialists treat patients who have had intimacy issues relating to robotic prostatectomy. Some people treat preoperatively, some people treat only postoperatively, some people see patients preoperatively, some people only see patients postoperatively. So, we're interested in looking at patient satisfaction with respect to what works best in terms of counseling them on the options for intimacy after a prostate cancer treatment.
Katherine L. Rotker, MD: On that same front, I think that beyond just the medical treatments and surgical treatments we can offer these patients after the prostate cancer treatment, building the relationship, counseling appropriately, giving realistic expectations, and a plan is hugely valuable beyond the guidelines and the limited data we have for the efficacy of the treatments themselves.
This transcription has been edited for clarity.