Penile Rehabilitation (PR) refers to a set of treatments designed to restore a man's ability to achieve an erection following Prostate Cancer Surgery (i.e., radical prostatectomy). PR was created to help men resume normal sexual function following treatment for Prostate Cancer. Since many men may not be able to obtain or maintain their erections after treatment, PR may contribute to a quicker recovery of normal sexual function.
What is PR ?
Penile Rehabilitation varies from doctor to doctor but almost always consists of a combination of an oral Erectile Dysfunction (ED) medication (Viagra, Cialis or Levitra), a Vacuum Erections Device and Penile Injections. The idea is to maintain the health of the penis by stimulating as much blood flow into the penis on a regular basis so that a normal erection can occur. There is no one method to perform PR, but most Urologists agree that a combination of these treatments should be performed shortly after Prostate Cancer treatment.
Does PR Work?
After PR treatment many men are able to obtain erections and engage in normal sexual activity. Studies are inconclusive as to whether or not spontaneous erectile function will return sooner, or at all, with PR treatment.
It's important to note that if you have ED prior to Prostate Cancer Surgery (or Radiation Therapy), PR will not restore your normal erectile function. However, there are many treatments for ED so that you can engage in normal and satisfying sexual activity. (See my blog post.)
What's a Man to Do?
Since there is little downside to PR it's a good idea to provide stimulation and blood flow to the penis as soon as possible after Prostate Cancer Surgery. The sooner men resume their normal routines (including work, exercising, hobbies, etc.) the better! Resuming your daily routine plays an important part in regaining normal erectile function.
Most Urologists performing Prostate Cancer Surgery do place their patients on PR treatment after surgery. Be sure to ask if Penile Rehabilitation will play a role in your recovery if you're contemplating Prostate Cancer Surgery. If you would like a consultation with me regarding my PR program, call 215-563-1199 to schedule an appointment.