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15 August 2011
Prostate surgery: men urged to get real about outcomes
by George Atkinson

Nearly half of men undergoing surgery for prostate cancer expect better sexual function and urinary continence than they actually attain, say the University of Michigan medicos behind a new study into men's misplaced optimism about prostate surgery. "This is a belief that does not reflect preoperative counseling which, on the contrary, alerts men to urinary and sexual problems after surgery," says study author Daniela Wittmann, the sexual health coordinator at the University of Michigan prostate cancer survivorship program.

The study, published in the Journal of Urology, surveyed 152 men undergoing prostate removal. Before the surgery, all the men received preoperative counseling and a pre-surgery questionnaire asked the men about their expectations of urinary, bowel, hormonal and sexual function a year after the surgery.

For the most part, men's expectations of hormonal and bowel function matched what happened one year after surgery. But, 46 percent of the men found worse than expected outcomes in urinary incontinence and 44 percent of men found worse than expected outcomes in sexual function one year after surgery.

"When we provide preoperative education, we can only inform men in terms of overall statistics. We can't predict for the individual," explains Wittmann. "This may mean that, if in doubt, people tend toward being hopeful and optimistic, perhaps overly optimistic." The researchers suggest that it is important to provide men with tools for urinary and sexual recovery after surgery and with support that will lead to the best possible outcome.

Most Men "Emotionally Unprepared" For Prostate Removal
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Doctors Too Embarrassed To Discuss Sex

Source: University of Michigan

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