Erectile Dysfunction

What are the causes of Erectile Dysfunction that we treat?

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) or impotence is a common male sexual dysfunction, defined as an inability to achieve or sustain an erection. It is estimated that one in every ten men will suffer from long-term ED at some point during his lifetime. This is a common condition that often is a symptom of another underlying condition.

Male sexual arousal is a complex process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any of these. Some of the common causes of erectile dysfunction include:

  • Heart Disease
  • High Cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Certain Prescription Medications
  • Trauma
  • Treatments for Prostate Cancer
  • Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
  • Diabetes
  • Emotional Disorders (Stress, Anxiety, Depression)
  • Alcoholism or Substance Abuse
  • Surgeries in the Pelvic Region

A common treatment option used for complete remission of localized prostate cancer is a radical prostatectomy. Unfortunately, this operation carries a risk of postoperative complications including erectile dysfunction (ED). Although great advances have been made in surgical techniques and devices, the prevalence of ED after prostatectomy remains a major postoperative complication. The effects of radiotherapy for the treatment of prostate cancer can also contribute to ED.  40% of men report ED after radiotherapy, and half of all men use erectile aids thereafter.

What are the causes of Erectile Dysfunction that we treat?

The procedure that we offer at The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction addresses erectile dysfunction caused by nerve damage or interruption. We may be able to treat erectile dysfunction resulting from a prostatectomy, prostate radiation, pelvic surgery, pelvic trauma or diabetes. In addition, we may be able to treat idiopathic erectile dysfunction (unknown cause).

What procedure do we offer?

At The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction, we perform a genitofemoral to cavernous nerve transfer to restore erectile function (see figures). A “nerve transfer” is a standard surgical technique that utilizes a healthy, functioning nerve, connecting it to an unhealthy, injured nerve, in order to restore the function in the injured nerve.

What is the recovery like after this procedure?

This procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Patients are often able to return to work within one week. Full recovery from this surgery usually takes around six weeks.

What are the potential benefits of this procedure?

Following the procedure, nerve regeneration is expected at around 6 to 9 months before the desired erection is possible. The standard of treatment for ED often focuses on short-term solutions however; our surgical option offers a long-term solution to ED.

You may be a candidate if you…

  • Are over 18 years old and otherwise healthy
  • Have a history of spontaneous erectile function prior to prostatectomy, prostate radiation, pelvic surgery, trauma or diabetes
  • Experienced a loss of erectile function after prostatectomy, prostate radiation, pelvic surgery, trauma or being diagnosed with diabetes
  • Are within 18 months of the onset of Erectile Dysfunction symptoms
  • Are willing and capable to proceed with surgery and follow-up appropriately
  • Are free from tobacco use, alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse

Please contact The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction if you are interested in learning more about this procedure.


Tal R, Alphs HH, Krebs P, Nelson CJ, Mulhall JP. Erectile function recovery rate after radical prostatectomy: a meta-analysis. J Sex Med. 2009;6(9):2538–2546.

Chung E, Brock G. Sexual rehabilitation and cancer survivorship: a state of art review of current literature and management strategies in male sexual dysfunction among prostate cancer survivors. J Sex Med. 2013;10 Suppl 1:102–111.

Fode M, Ohl DA, Ralph D, Sønksen J. Penile rehabilitation after radical prostatectomy: what the evidence really says. BJU Int. 2013;112(7):998–1008.

Alemozaffar M, Regan MM, Cooperberg MR, et al. Prediction of erectile function following treatment for prostate cancer. JAMA. 2011;306(11):1205–1214.

Erectile Dysfunction. Cleveland Clinic Website. Accessed June 25, 2018.

Have More Questions?

For more information please contact our Lymphedema Coordinator, Pam Maddox 732-741-0970 ext. 147.

Share With Friends