Impact on sexual function of surgical treatment in rectal cancer

Vol. 44 (1): 141-149, January – February, 2018

doi: 10.1590/S1677-5538.IBJU.2017.0318


ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Pedro Costa 1, João M Cardoso 2, Hugo Louro 2, Jorge Dias 1, Luís Costa 1, Raquel Rodrigues 1, Paulo Espiridião 1, Jorge Maciel 2, Luís Ferraz 1
1 Department de Urologia, Centro Hospitalar Vila Nova de Gaia, Espinho, Portugal; 2 Departmento de Cirurgia Geral, Centro Hospitalar Vila Nova de Gaia, Espinho, Portugal

 

ABSTRACT

 

Introduction: The development of new surgical techniques and medical devices, like therapeutical multimodal approaches has allowed for better outcomes on patients with rectal cancer (RCa). Owing to that, an increased awareness and investment towards better outcomes regarding patients’ sexual and urinary function has been recently observed.

Aim: Evaluate and characterize the sexual dysfunction of patients submitted to surgical treatment for RCa.

Materials and Methods: An observational retrospective study including all male patients who underwent a surgical treatment for RCa between January 2011 December 2014 (n=43) was performed, complemented with an inquiry questionnaire to every patient about its sexual habits and level of function before and after surgery.

Discussion: All patients were male, with an average of 64yo. (range 42-83yo.). The surgical procedure was a rectum anterior resection (RAR) in 22 patients (56%) and an abdominoperineal resection (APR) in 19(44%). Sixty three percent described their sexual life as important/very important. Sexual function worsening was observed in 76% (65% with complains on erectile function, and 27% on ejaculation). Fourteen patients (38%) didn’t resume sexual activity after surgery. Increased age (p=0.007), surgery performed (APR) (p=0.03) and the presence of a stoma (p=0.03) were predictors of ED after surgery. A secondary analysis found that the type of surgery (APR) (p=0.04), lower third tumor’s location (p=0.03) and presence of comorbidities (p=0.013) (namely, smokers and diabetic patients) were predictors of de novo ED after surgery.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated the clear negative impact in sexual function of patients submitted to a surgical treatment for RCa. Since it is a valued feature for patients, it becomes essential to correctly evaluate/identify these cases in order to offer an adequate therapeutical option.

Keywords: Surgical Procedures, Operative; Rectal Neoplasms; Diagnosis

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