The progression of the penile vein: could it be recurrent?

J Androl. 2005 Jan-Feb;26(1):53-60.


Our aim was to study retrospectively the destiny of the deep dorsal vein of the penis in the event of its stripping surgery or its simple ligation in patients diagnosed with venoocclusive dysfunction 17 years ago. From June 1986 to May 1987, a total of 31 men were seen for erectile dysfunction due to venous leakage resulting from priapism, aging, or congenital or idiopathic factors. Of these, 23 men underwent venous stripping of the deep dorsal vein and are referred to as the stripping group. The remaining 8 patients received a simple ligation of the deep dorsal vein and are classified as the ligation group. A total of 21 patients (16 of the 23 and 5 out of the 8) were available for follow-up by using the abridged 5-item version of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) scoring system and cavernosograms. In the ligation group, the imaging demonstrates some compensatory veins that are commensurate with impotence postoperatively. In the stripping group, however, the follow-up cavernosograms disclosed no venous recurrence, but residual ones that were not crucial to the rigidity. The IIEF-5 scoring in the ligation group changed from a preoperative mean IIEF-5 score of 10.0 +/- 4.5 to 9.8 +/- 3.6 postoperatively. In the stripping group, however, the mean preoperative IIEF-5 score of 9.8 +/- 4.1 increased to a mean postoperative IIEF-5 score of 18.9 +/- 2.1. Although there was no significant difference between the 2 groups' preoperative IIEF-5 score, there was a statistically significant difference between treatments (P <.001). The penile venous vasculature bears no evidence of regeneration even as long as 17 years after their removal. This finding is in contrast to what is commonly believed, that erectile dysfunction will recur about 2 years after ligation of the deep dorsal vein. We therefore believe that the clinical recurrence may not be due to venous regeneration, and penile venous surgery, if properly performed, may be durable, although larger studies will be required.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Impotence, Vasculogenic / etiology
  • Impotence, Vasculogenic / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Penile Erection / physiology*
  • Penis / blood supply*
  • Penis / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Veins / surgery*