A prospective study of sexual and urinary function before and after total mesorectal excision
Although rectal cancer is a very common malignancy and has an improved cure rate in response to oncological treatment, research on rectal cancer survivors’ urogenital function remains limited. In this study, urogenital dysfunction after surgical rectal cancer treatment was measured and possible predisposing factors that may have an impact on the development of this disorder were discussed.
One hundred eight patients undergoing curative rectal cancer surgery from January 2008 to December 2014 were questioned using questionnaires: male urinary function was assessed using the International Prostatic Symptom Score (IPSS) questionnaire, for sexual function—International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF). The Bristol Female Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (BFLUTS) questionnaire and the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) were used for female urogenital function assessment prior to the operation and 6 months postoperatively.
A total of 67.0 % of male (36) and 33.0 % (18) of female patients who completed the questionnaire were included in the study. Preoperatively, male urinary dysfunction was 80.1 % and postoperatively—88.9 %. In female patients, preoperative urinary dysfunction was seen in 75.0 % patients, postoperatively—78.0 %. Erectile dysfunction was seen in 41.7 % males preoperatively and in 63.9 % postoperatively. A total of 83.3 % of female patients had sexual dysfunction preoperatively and 94 % postoperatively.
Sexual and urinary problems after surgery for rectal cancer are common. Preoperative genitourinary dysfunction is not uncommon in patients older than 60 years as well. Female patients reported higher rates of sexual dysfunction than males. These results point out the importance of sexual and urinary (dys)function in survivors of rectal cancer. More attention should be drawn to this topic for clinical and research purposes.
KeywordsRectal cancer Total mesorectal excision Sexual dysfunction Urinary dysfunction
Compliance with ethical standards
This study was conducted with the agreement of a regional Bioethics committee. Written informed consent was obtained from all patients who participated in the study at the time of their initial visit so that their clinical data could be used for any clinical study so long as their privacy is not jeopardized.
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