Researchers identify link between kidney removal and erectile dysfunction

July 30, 2012

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 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 . 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.

"What we are seeing is a dramatic yet delayed effect. Approximately six years after surgery, patients who had a total nephrectomy were 3.5 times more likely to develop erectile dysfunction compared to those who had kidney reconstruction," said Derweesh.

"The primary argument for kidney-sparing surgery over total kidney removal has been to preserve the kidney filtration function. However, we are also beginning to understand that total kidney removal may also increase the risk of and significantly decrease quality of life," said lead author Ryan Kopp, MD, chief resident, Division of Urology, UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Derweesh added that this is the latest in a series of studies that point to the wisdom of saving the kidney in appropriate patients. Prior research led by Derweesh also shows that can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and chronic kidney insufficiency which can lead to cardiac events and metabolic disturbances. Further investigation is needed to prevent erectile dysfunction in patients and to predict its potential occurrence.

Explore further: Kidney-preserving surgery saves bone health

Related Stories

Kidney-preserving surgery saves bone health

August 5, 2011
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have shed new light on how surgery impacts both chronic kidney disease and bone health, particularly in women. For the first time, their findings point ...

Mayo Clinic finds surgeon caseload, practice setting affect treatment of small kidney tumors

May 15, 2011
Patients with small kidney tumors are more likely to be offered treatment options based on surgeons' case volume and type of practice than on tumor characteristics, a Mayo Clinic study has found. Fellowship-trained surgeons ...

Kidney cancer patients do better when whole kidney is not removed

April 17, 2012
Kidney cancer patients who had only their tumor removed had better survival than patients who had their entire kidney removed, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Recommended for you

Newly discovered viral marker could help predict flu severity in infected patients

October 20, 2017
Flu viruses contain defective genetic material that may activate the immune system in infected patients, and new research published in PLOS Pathogens suggests that lower levels of these molecules could increase flu severity.

H7N9 influenza is both lethal and transmissible in animal model for flu

October 19, 2017
In 2013, an influenza virus that had never before been detected began circulating among poultry in China. It caused several waves of human infection and in late 2016, the number of people to become sick from the H7N9 virus ...

Flu simulations suggest pandemics more likely in spring, early summer

October 19, 2017
New statistical simulations suggest that Northern Hemisphere flu pandemics are most likely to emerge in late spring or early summer at the tail end of the normal flu season, according to a new study published in PLOS Computational ...

New insights into herpes virus could inform vaccine development

October 18, 2017
A team of scientists has discovered new insights into the mechanisms of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, as well as two antibodies that block the virus' entry into cells. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National ...

Pair of discoveries illuminate new paths to flu and anthrax treatments

October 17, 2017
Two recent studies led by biologists at the University of California San Diego have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning.

Portable 3-D scanner assesses patients with elephantiasis

October 17, 2017
An estimated 120 million people worldwide are infected with lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic, mosquito-borne disease that can cause major swelling and deformity of the legs, a condition known as elephantiasis. Health-care ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.