Nerve-sparing approach reduces sexual dysfunction in patients undergoing laparoscopic radical hysterectomy

Giorgio Bogani, Maurizio Serati, Rossella Nappi, Antonella Cromi, Edoardo di Naro, Fabio Ghezzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Although growing evidence suggests the beneficial effects of a nerve-sparing (NS) approach to surgery in cervical cancer patients, only limited data on NS laparoscopic radical hysterectomy (LRH) are available, and no studies have investigated the effects of NS-LRH on sexual function. Aim: This study aims to determine whether the implementation of NS-LRH impacts on sexual function in cervical cancer patients. Methods: Sexually active cervical cancer patients undergoing type C (class III) LRH between 2004 and 2013 were enrolled in this prospective study. Main Outcome Measures: Preoperative and postoperative sexual function were assessed using a validated questionnaire, the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). The FSFI evaluates desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain. Results: Forty patients undergoing radical hysterectomy (20 conventional LRH vs. 20 NS-LRH) represented the study group. Baseline characteristics were similar between groups (P>0.05). No differences in preoperative FSFI scores were recorded (P>0.05). We observed that both LRH and NS-LRH worsened postoperative FSFI scores (P0.05), while patients undergoing NS-LRH experienced higher lubrication (3.4±2.3 vs. 1.7±2.2; P=0.02) and satisfaction (4.6±3.9 vs. 2.8±2.2; P=0.004) scores in comparison with patients undergoing conventional LRH. No between-group differences in survival outcomes were found. Conclusions: Both conventional LRH and NS-LRH impact negatively on patients' sexual function. However, the NS approach impairs sexual function less, minimizing the effects of radical surgery. Bogani G, Serati M, Nappi R, Cromi A, di Naro E, and Ghezzi F. Nerve-sparing approach reduces sexual dysfunction in patients undergoing laparoscopic radical hysterectomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3012-3020
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Female sexual function index
  • Laparoscopy
  • Nerve sparing
  • Radical hysterectomy
  • Sexual function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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