[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the success of erectile function preservation and recovery in a select group of patients with extensive disease unilaterally on biopsy who were candidates for unilateral nerve sparing and contralateral genitofemoral interposition nerve-grafting radical prostatectomy (RP). Because of its low donor site morbidity, the genitofemoral nerve is an appealing donor source for cavernous nerve grafting during RP. Although evidence has shown that sural interposition nerve grafts during RP preserve erectile function, the evidence for genitofemoral nerve grafts is limited.
Nerve-sparing RP was performed according to the technique of Walsh on 22 patients with prostate cancer. At follow-up, the patients completed an 11-item self-report questionnaire that included the erectile function (EF) domain of the International Index of Erectile Function.
The mean patient age was 62 years (range 48 to 76). The mean follow-up time was 23 months (range 9 to 37). Of the 22 patients, 3 reported no erectile dysfunction (ED) (EF score 26 to 30), 3 reported mild ED (EF score 22 to 25), 1 reported moderate ED (EF score 11 to 16), and 15 reported severe ED (EF score less than 11). Eight men continued to experience mild chronic thigh or scrotal numbness after the genitofemoral nerve graft procedure.
The benefits of unilateral nerve grafting with the genitofemoral nerve remain uncertain. A prospective randomized trial is warranted before the widespread adoption of unilateral nerve grafting.