Prostate Cancer Survivors






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Penile rehab expectations

Hi, folks. Have searched the internet and this site and couldn't find much information on what to expect from the rehab protocol. My husband had a laparoscopic robotic prostatectomy last week. Got the catheter out two days ago (day 9), and started sildenafil (Viagra) for the first time last night. He was told to take one 20 mg tablet every night at bedtime, and after 6-8 weeks he could try a boost dose of an additional 1-4 tablets to attempt intercourse. He woke up twice last night with erections. Our understanding was that the low dose was just to increase blood flow - we surely didn't expect an erection from it. Is it supposed to be causing an erection at this point?

Re: Penile rehab expectations

Hello Ms. Milkweed,

It is very rare for erections to occur so soon after surgery, although the Viagra can certainly help. It can take up to a year or two for full erectile functionality to return without the use of drugs like Viagra, Cialis or Levitra. The nerves in the neuro-vascular bundle that control erectile function are very delicate, and they run immediately adjacent to the prostate. Those nerves are often traumatized during the surgery, causing them to go into a "hibernation" mode, and it often takes some time for those nerves to fully regenerate their electrical pathways.

Your husband is very fortunate that his nerves are functioning so well this soon after his surgery. It is a very good sign for positive recovery.

We encourage your husband to continue taking the Viagra as prescribed, since it really does help with improved blood flow during the recovery period. It also helps keep the erectile tissues healthy and prevents them from becoming atrophied from lack of use. For more information, please see the Use It Or Lose It article on the YANA website.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Best Regards,

Re: Penile rehab expectations

WOW! As the saying goes, "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth." (?) You guys are indeed fortunate! This is very unusual and hopefully a very good sign! You might say a prayer of thanks for this "small" miracle. Let's hope your good fortune continues and the real purpose of the treatment, getting rid of the cancer, is also successful. Jon.

Re: Penile rehab expectations

Thank you both - this is reassuring and bodes well for the future. :-)