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August 1978

Preservation of Erectile Function After Aortoiliac Reconstruction

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Dr DePalma), Urology (Dr Feldman), and Psychiatry (Dr Levine), Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the University Hospitals of Cleveland, Cleveland.

Arch Surg. 1978;113(8):958-962. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1978.01370200052010

• Men with aortoiliac atherosclerosis exhibit organic erectile dysfunction caused by inadequate blood flow and/or psychological factors. After aortoiliac reconstruction, organic erectile dysfunction may be due primarily to surgical interruption of autonomic nerve fibers. To avoid this, dissection principles preserving genital autonomic plexi were developed. The results of these dissections were compared with those of conventional bypasses. Thirty nondiabetic men (age range, 43 to 67 years) were studied. A history of erectile capacity was elicited preoperatively and evaluated postoperatively in follow-up interviews every six months. Normal postoperative erectile function was not affected by nerve-sparing dissections. Each of the 11 patients requiring conventional dissections was both preoperatively and postoperatively impotent. Four of the 19 patients who underwent nerve-sparing dissection were preoperatively and postoperative ly impotent. Seven of these 19 patients maintained preoperative potency after nerve-sparing dissection. The potency of the remaining eight patients was either completely restored or improved after nerve-sparing dissection. This report emphasizes the importance of a preoperative determination of a complex interplay of physical and psychological factors in erectile dysfunction.

(Arch Surg 113:958-962, 1978)