It is well known that the administration of phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors (PDE5-Is) may improve erectile function (EF) recovery after bilateral nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy (BNSRP). The aim of our study was to identify predictors of the use of a high number of PDE5-Is (one or more per week) after surgery among 184 patients taking proerectile medications on demand. At a mean follow-up of 22.7 months, 116 patients (63%) recovered EF. Overall, EF recovery rates at 1- and 2- year follow-up were 47.3% and 65.4%, respectively. Overall, 43 (23.4%) patients used one or more PDE5-Is per week. Preoperative EF was the only predictor of the use of one or more PDE5-Is per week after BNSRP. This held true even after adjusting our analyses for age at surgery, body mass index and EF at 1 month after surgery. Particularly, patients fully potent before surgery had roughly 2.1-fold higher probability of using one or more pills per week compared with their counterparts with some degree of preoperative erectile dysfunction (ED; odds ratio: 2.16; 95% confidence interval: 1.03-4.37). In conclusion, preoperative EF represents the only determinant of the use of a higher number of PDE5-Is after surgery. Patients with better preoperative EF might represent individuals more motivated to achieve satisfactory sexual function after surgery. These observations should provide physicians with better preoperative patient counseling and management of postoperative ED.
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