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Men Suffer Smaller Penises after Prostate Cancer Surgery - According to New Book

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 happens.”

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 radical prostatectomy.”

“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."

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