BJU Int. 2009;103:788-792

Among prostate cancer patients who had no erectile dysfunction (ED) before undergoing cryosurgery, more than one third recovered full sexual function two years post-operatively, a British study found.

Susan Asterling, MSc, and Damian R. Greene, MD, of Sunderland Royal Hospital in Sunderland, U.K., studied 53 men undergoing cryosurgery as a primary radical treatment for localized prostate tumors.

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They performed the surgery using an argon-based third-generation cryotherapy system (Oncura). Of the 53 men, 25 said they were fully potent prior to surgery; two of these patients died during follow-up. Patients were followed for as long as 54 months (mean 30.5 months).

Of the 23 men who were fully potent before surgery, nine (39%) regained full erectile function 24 months after their operation.

This recovery rate is lower than that observed following radical retropubic prostatectomy and external beam radiation therapy, but it  probably is comparable to the rate seen with brachytherapy, the authors reported.