Message from a Patient: Delayed Return of Erections
(Dr. Catalona wants to share this message he received from a patient.)
I am approximately 18 months post nerve sparing radical prostatectomy.
My erectile function is just now beginning to return to near my pre-operation level. I was able to achieve penetration and go to completion using a 20 mg Cialis dose for the first time last week.
I'd like to share a suggestion from my experience: Patients should learn about using a vacuum pump and/or a "cocktail" injection to allow sexual activity after an RRP.
I began my post radical process of attempting to recover erectile function by taking Viagra three times per week with sexual stimulation. While I was able to achieve a "soft off" this way, it did not produce any noticeable erectile function.
Nine months post surgery, unhappy that I could not achieve an erection and concerned that not having an erection would produce long term atrophy, I tried both the vacuum pump and a cocktail injection.
Both methods have pluses and minuses.
The cocktail produces a great erection, but also produces discomfort and lasts up to three hours.
The vacuum pump is hard to manipulate successfully; the ring is a bit unwieldy; and the erection is harder to maintain.
But in both cases, the ability to have sexual success is a great cure for the frustration of not being able to produce an erection and also made me feel like the atrophy problem was being addressed. I was at least actively doing something that felt like it was working.
Post radical prostatectomy patients should be encouraged to use these methods for both psychological and potential physiological reasons.