Featuring: Nelson E. Bennett Jr., MD, FACS
An 89-year-old man presented to my clinic complaining of erectile dysfunction. He had a radical prostatectomy some years prior. The nature of his prostate cancer
was quite advanced, which required a wide resection to remove the entirety of the cancer, including removal of the cavernous nerves, the nerves that run along the
prostate and transmit impulses to generate an erection. After his surgery, he was unable to generate an erection for sexual intercourse with his wife. Unfortunately,
five years later, his wife fell ill and did not survive her lengthy battle with breast cancer.
Ten years later, he reconnected with his high school sweetheart, an energetic 89-year-old woman. Even after nearly 75 years, they picked up their relationship right where they left off. Several months later, he asked for her hand in marriage. They set a date for the wedding in six months in Key West, Florida. There was only one problem: He would not be able to have erections because of the prostate cancer surgery.
At his visit with me, I counseled the patient and his wifeto-be on the options that were available. We discussed the risk and benefits of pills, injections, vacuum pumps and prosthetics. He decided to have a prosthesis inserted. The prosthesis is a self-contained, inflatable silicone device that is inserted and then inflated with saline. This device is the most spontaneous, naturalfeeling, effective cure for erectile dysfunction.
The patient underwent an uneventful surgery to place the prosthesis. He had a smooth recovery and followed up in the office approximately six weeks later. After teaching him and his wife how to operate the prosthesis, they jetted off to Key West to be married.
Two weeks later, I got a very nice postcard in the mail thanking me for offering the surgery to him despite his advanced age.
This patient is an excellent example of why surgical intervention is a good option for all age groups and that enhanced quality of life is always possible.
To refer a patient or request a second opinion, call 312.695.8146.
Nelson E. Bennett Jr., MD, FACS Northwestern Medical Group Urology
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