Men Suffer Smaller Penises after Prostate Cancer Surgery - According to New
News Released: May 11, 2005
(PRLEAP.COM) Roseville, IL – “Smaller penises result from undergoing the
radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer,” warns Dr. Bradley Hennenfent, author
of the new book, “Surviving Prostate Cancer Without Surgery” (2005).
"I can personally testify that I lost about an inch of penile length,” says
Aubrey Pilgrim, who underwent a radical prostatectomy, “and it takes a lot of
stimulation to have an orgasm and of course it’s not the same."
“In one study [Fraiman et al.] there was a decrease in all penile dimensions,
even after ‘nerve-sparing’ radical prostatectomy,” says Dr. Hennenfent. “One
abstract [McCullough et al.] reported a 27 percent loss in volume of the penis
after the radical prostatectomy. And, in another study [Walsh et al.], no man
had as good an erection after surgery as before surgery, and many men couldn’t
get an erection at all.”
“An animal model study [Chan et al.] has documented what some of us have already
concluded from the experiences of men after prostate cancer surgery,” says Dr.
Hennenfent. “Although the cavernous nerves are sometimes spared, it appears that
the branches of those nerves, which are always cut during the radical
prostatectomy, are vital for achieving normal, completely rigid, erections. The
animal model showed that when the cavernous nerve branches are cut, softer,
smaller erections occur even with chemically-induced erections.”
According to Dr. Hennenfent, another study [Savoie, et al.] directly warns
physicians that, “Men should be counseled before radical prostatectomy that
penile shortening may occur.” The Savoie study found significantly smaller
penises in 124 men after prostate cancer surgery.
Interested men should read the chapter inside “Surviving Prostate Cancer Without
Surgery” entitled: “The Radical Prostatectomy and Your Penis, ” as the book
includes diagrams that realistically illustrate the damage done by the radical
prostatectomy to male sexual function and penis size.
The book also reveals other penile side effects suffered after the radical
prostatectomy including: loss of sensation to the penis (penis feels dead), a
cold penis, or a penis that feels shriveled as if coming out of a cold swimming
pool. Men variously described orgasms after the radical prostatectomy as “only a
shadow,” “possible,” “have them but different,” “some pain,” and “not sure it
Why does the radical prostatectomy damage the penis so much? “The operation
removes the prostate and seminal vesicles and removing these structures leaves a
gap that is sometimes filled by pulling the penis up into the body, effectively
shortening it,” says Dr. Hennenfent. “In addition, nerve branches, arteries, and
veins in the pelvis are always severed by the radical prostatectomy. These
missing structures can no longer nourish the penis and it atrophies. One study
suggests that the erectile tissue in the penis actually dies off after the
“The real lesson,” according to Dr. Hennenfent, “is not only that the radical
prostatectomy results in smaller penises, but that the radical prostatectomy has
failed to extend overall survival in two randomized controlled trials.”
The author, Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., has seen five uncles suffer from prostate
cancer. He co-founded the Prostatitis Foundation , founded the Epididymitis
Foundation , and founded the Acoustic Neuroma Foundation . He previously
published "The Prostatitis Syndromes."