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Impotence more common after prostatectomy than previously thought

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 29 January 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:272
  1. Scott Gottlieb
  1. New York

    Impotence occurs far more frequently after radical prostatectomy than previous studies have shown, according to the first nationally representative study to evaluate long term outcomes after prostate surgery.

    The new, broad based population study found far more patients admitting that they had problems after the operation than earlier estimates, which have been as low as 20%.

    In the current study, researchers followed 1291 men aged 39–79 who were randomly sampled from six National Cancer Institute cancer registries across the United States. They found that 60% were impotent 18 months after the surgery, 8% experienced total urinary incontinence, and 40% had occasional genitourinary problems (JAMA 2000;283:354-60).

    Men surveyed in the study had all undergone …

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