SAN DIEGO, Calif.— Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a link between patients who undergo total nephrectomy—complete kidney removal—and erectile dysfunction. Results from the multi-center study were recently published online in the British Journal of Urology International.
“This is the first study in medical literature to suggest that surgery for kidney removal can negatively impact erectile function while partial kidney removal can protect sexual function,” said Ithaar Derweesh, MD, senior author, associate professor of surgery, UC San Diego School of Medicine and urologic surgeon at UC San Diego Health System.
The retrospective study evaluated two cohorts of men, totaling 432 patients, who underwent surgery for renal cell carcinoma. One group underwent complete removal of the kidney while the other had kidney-sparing surgery. Sexual function was accessed pre-and post-operatively with a sexual health questionnaire known as the International Index of Erectile Function.