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

Drug blocks Zika, other mosquito-borne viruses in cell cultures

December 12, 2017
If there was a Mafia crime family of the virus world, it might be flaviviruses.

Study seeks to aid diagnosis, management of catatonia

December 11, 2017
Catatonia, a syndrome of motor, emotional and behavioral abnormalities frequently characterized by muscular rigidity and a trance-like mental stupor and at times manifesting with great excitement or agitation, can occur during ...

New compound stops progressive kidney disease in its tracks

December 7, 2017
Progressive kidney diseases, whether caused by obesity, hypertension, diabetes, or rare genetic mutations, often have the same outcome: The cells responsible for filtering the blood are destroyed. Reporting today in Science, ...

New Lyme disease tests could offer quicker, more accurate detection

December 7, 2017
New tests to detect early Lyme disease - which is increasing beyond the summer months -could replace existing tests that often do not clearly identify the infection before health problems occur.

Spinal tap needle type impacts the risk of complications

December 6, 2017
The type of needle used during a lumbar puncture makes a significant difference in the subsequent occurrence of headache, nerve irritation and hearing disturbance in patients, according to a study by Hamilton medical researchers.

Men with HPV are 20 times more likely to be reinfected after one year

December 5, 2017
A new analysis of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) in men shows that infection with one HPV type strongly increases the risk of reinfection with the same type. In fact, men who are infected with the type responsible for ...

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.