Preserving potency: The facts

Potency is regulated by fine and sensitive nerve tissues that pass very close to the prostate gland on their way from the brain to the penis. If it is possible to spare these fine vessels and nerve structures during surgery, erectile function can be preserved in the majority of cases. If one defines potency as the ability to have sexual intercourse following surgery, the majority of patients in whom the nerves on both sides of the prostate had been spared answered this question positively:

  • 92 % of the men under the age of 60
  • 85 % of the men between 60 and 70 years of age
  • 84 % of the men over the age of 70

The table shows the potency rates of our patients who were potent preoperatively. The data on all patients can be found in BARMER GEK Report Krankenhaus 2012

Potency rates of of our patients

Ageunder 6060 - 70over 70
Degree of nerve-sparingboth sidesone sideboth sidesone sideboth sidesone side
IIEF* over 19 points594456355925
Ability to have sexual intercourse (in %)9258.384.6708463.6

* IIEF-5 Score ("International Index of Erectile Function")  evaluating the severity of erectile dysfunction. The ability to have sexual intercourse is assumed if the number of points scored is at least 19 out of a possible 25 points. The survey took place 12 months after a nerve-sparing PRP, with or without the intake of  PDE-5 inhibitors. The intake of  PDE-5 inhibitors was reported by about 20% of the patients.

Source: Michl, U., et al. (2005). Prediction of Postoperative Sexual Function After Nerve Sparing Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy