Purpose: To compare erectile function (EF) recovery of patients treated by early penile rehabilitation therapy (PRT) with sildenafil and with control group.
Method: Forty men treated by bilateral nerve sparing radical prostatectomy (NSRP) and with a normal pre-operative EF were enrolled. Fourteen days after surgery, they were randomised to a flexible-dose sildenafil group and to a control group. The International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) questionnaire was completed before surgery and at 3, 6, 12 and 24 weeks after NSRP.
Results: In the group treated, the mean IIEF score before surgery was 26.2 and 14.1, 16.2, 22.5 and 25.2 at 3, 6, 12 and 24 weeks after NSRP, respectively. In the control group, the respective scores were 26.5 and 12.4, 15.8, 15.3 and 17.4. There was a significant difference in IIEF mean score (25+/-6 vs. 17+/-9, p<0.05) and in the potency rate (87% vs. 56%) between the groups at 24 weeks after NSRP. The percentage of patients who were capable of having medication-unassisted intercourse was 54% vs. 21%; 34% vs. 18% of patients had a normal EF with 72% vs. 32% of responders to sildenafil.
Conclusions: PRT with PDE-5 inhibitors should be offered early after RP to allow the recovery of EF.