June 17-20, 2004
Acceptance of pharmacological rehabilitation of erectile function in men with prostatectomy
Dept of Obstetrics/Gynecology-State Medical School-Siena, Italy
Patients affected by localized prostate adenocarcinoma undergo radical prostatectomy for the ablation of the gland. Surgery may involve the resecation of erectile nerves tthus affectong potency. The erectile difficulty and the uncertainty of «masculinity without potency» are a source of emotional distress for the patients, in addition to the trauma of having a cancer diagnosis.
The likelihook of erectile failure for neurogenic and psychological causes is common and rehabilitation is often attempted using pharmacological injective or oral prosthesis Unfortunately few protocols take into consideration the level of harmonic intimacy between the patient and his partner.
Receiving a diagnosis of cancer is a devastating experience both for the patient and his wife. Men express a great need to share their fears and emotional distress with their partners and couples in loving relationships are able to communicate intimately and bear the side effects of the pharmacologiical rehabilitation. In time, these couples are able to regain their sexual life.
Unfortunately, many relationships are not intimate enough to share painful emotions. In these cases wives become highly distressed themselves and cannot provide much support. When husband and wife withdraw from each other, the physical limitations become more difficult to overcome. These couples are usually not amenable to pharmacological rehabilitation because their depressed mood persists well into the recovery period.