Unrealistic Functional Expectations Post-Prostatectomy

Nearly half the men have lower than expected function for urinary incontinence, sexual function

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FRIDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Many men have unrealistic expectations of their urinary and sexual function following prostatectomy, according to a study published in the August issue of The Journal of Urology.

Daniela Wittmann, M.S.W., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues assessed patient expectations of post-prostatectomy recovery from urinary incontinence. A total of 152 patients were assessed at baseline and one year after surgery using the Expanded Prostate Index Composite-Short Form. Baseline expectations of urinary incontinence and urinary irritability, as well as hormonal, bowel, and sexual functional outcomes, one year after surgery were assessed by the Expanded Prostate Index Composite-Expectations.

The investigators found that baseline sexual function score was a significant predictor of sexual function and urinary incontinence. At one year, 36 and 40 percent of patients expected the same as baseline function in urinary incontinence and sexual function, respectively. Worse-than-baseline function at one year was expected by 17, 45, 39, 15, and 32 percent of men for urinary incontinence, urinary irritable symptoms, bowel function, hormonal function, and sexual function, respectively. One year after prostatectomy, fewer than 22 percent of patients achieved lower than expected urinary irritable symptoms and bowel and hormone function. Lower than expected function was experienced by 47 and 44 percent for urinary incontinence and sexual function, respectively. Better-than-baseline results were expected by 12 and 17 percent of patients for urinary incontinence and sexual function, respectively, at one year after surgery.

"Men have unrealistic expectations of urinary and sexual function after prostatectomy despite preoperative counseling," the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed financial ties to the biomedical device industry.

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