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Significant Improvement of Erectile Function after Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery in Obese Chinese Men with Erectile Dysfunction

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We aimed to examine the effect of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGB) on erectile dysfunction (ED), cavernosal morphological vasculopathy, and carotid wall alterations in severely obese Chinese men.


We performed a retrospective cohort study of 39 obese men with ED who underwent RYGB between 2011 and 2012. Erectile function was assessed by the International Index of Erectile Function-5 (IIEF-5) before and 1 year after surgery. Intima-media thickness of carotid and cavernosal arteries and cavernosal peak systolic velocity (PSV) were investigated by color Doppler ultrasound. Endothelial function was assessed with the L-arginine test.


Eighteen (46.2 %) men had cavernosal vasculopathy and 21 (53.8 %) had carotid vasculopathy before surgery, and these proportions decreased to 15.4 % and 23.1 % after surgery, respectively. There was a significant improvement in carotid and cavernosal intima-media thickness postoperatively. IIEF-5 (17.3 to 23.8, P < 0.05), PSV (23 to 37, P < 0.05), and endothelial scores (6.1 to 8.2, P < 0.05) were all improved after RYGB. The increase in endothelial function scores was positively associated with changes in pre- to postoperative IIEF-5 scores (r = 0.438, P = 0.017). Younger age, being married, and lower preoperative IIEF-5 scores were independently related to greater improvement in erectile function.


ED can be relieved after RYGB in obese Chinese patients, accompanied by the improvement of cavernosal morphological vasculopathy and carotid wall alterations. Changes in endothelial function may contribute to this improvement, while preoperative body mass index and the amount of weight loss do not.

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We thank the staff of the Hospital Information Center of The Sixth People’s Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University for abstracting patients’ data from medical records.


This work did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not for-profit sector.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

For this type of study (retrospective study) formal consent is not required.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Correspondence to Zhang Pin.

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Li Kun and Zhang Pin contributed equally to this work.

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Kun, L., Pin, Z., Jianzhong, D. et al. Significant Improvement of Erectile Function after Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery in Obese Chinese Men with Erectile Dysfunction. OBES SURG 25, 838–844 (2015).

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